No route to Pilling this morning on a bright, cold and breezy morning, the A588 closed yet again, this time for resurfacing rather than the almost daily road accidents which blight this rural road. So which way to go? An instant decision ensued as the car turned right towards Hambleton and the inland mosses.
Just out of Stalmine and beyond 9am a Barn Owl flew high across the road and headed off towards its daytime roost down a nearby lane and to a quiet building I know of. Town End at Out Rawcliffe provided a Mistle Thrush and then a Kestrel, both perched up on telegraph poles but neither wanting to pose for a camera.
Hoping for a ringing session on Saturday or sooner I’ve been topping the feeders and scattering the seed, feeding mainly Woodpigeons, the odd Brambling or two, a regular if small posse of Chaffinches and a determined bunch of cute Reed Buntings - "cute" as in clever, shrewd, smart and quick-witted, the way they melt into the distance when I appear and then return as soon the car drives off.
Around the feeding area today, 22 Goldfinch, 14 Chaffinch, 8 Reed Bunting, 1 Brambling, 1 Yellowhammer, 30+ Woodpigeon, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Robin, 3 Blackbird. There’d been in an influx of Fieldfares overnight, with 140+ on the surrounding fields where they mixed with 200+ Starlings and a single Redwing. Almost March and both thrushes are on their respective ways north now, the Fieldfares to Fennoscandia and further east, Redwings to similar areas but with a small discrete population heading North West to Iceland. The Fieldfares fed in a stubble field and remained very wary of my some-way-off car, not unsurprising if they have spent in the winter in the southern Mediterranean where thrush pâté sells better than binoculars.
Further down the farm I counted 200+ distant Lapwings, a wheeling group of 7 Redshanks, 180+ Jackdaws and another 250+ Woodpigeons. The pair of Kestrels patrolled up and down the farm track, and fingers crossed, in between times they hung out again near the nest box erected for a couple of years ago for Stock Doves and since used by Grey Squirrels only. There’s another if somewhat easier dilemma to solve - which species would I prefer used the box - Kestrels, Stock Doves or Grey Squirrels?
Just off the main track there’s an elusive flock of Corn Buntings, feeding quietly in the stubble until a sudden dread send them into the tree tops nearby. There can be 10 or 12, but 30+ today.
A Buzzard and yet another Kestrel at Rawcliffe village on the way home and back home in time for lunch. That’s what I call a good morning.
Log in to Another Bird Blog soon for another problem free but bird-filled day.