Monday, February 25, 2013

Totting Up

Domestics kept the birding at bay this morning, so after a quick lunch it was time for a visit to Out Rawcliffe and a check on the finches. 

I found the big flock first, 300+ mixed Chaffinch and Bramblings still feeding in roadside stubble where they have been most of the winter, flying back and forth to tall trees when they get disturbed. It was the farmer himself today, where after a run of dry days he had the tractor out pulling a plough back and forth over the very same field. As the finches flew to the tree tops it gave me chance to weigh up the ratio of over 250 Chaffinch and at least 15/20 Brambling. 

Less than a mile away were my productive Brambling and Chaffinch feeders and the seed drop where I found at least 8 more Bramblings but only similar numbers of Chaffinch - there’s something about that seed mix which brings in the Bramblings. I promised myself another ringing session at the first opportunity, maybe tomorrow or Wednesday as both days should be dry without too much wind to blow the nets. Still 18+ Reed Bunting on site together with 25+ Goldfinch and single Linnet and Yellowhammer today. Captures of the target species just here from November 1st to date read as 66 Chaffinch, 37 Brambling, 36 Reed Bunting and 28 Goldfinch - fascinating days! 

Brambling

Chaffinch

Many low-lying local farms appear to be still saturated from the deluges of last summer, the autumn and early winter, and a walk around the area still requires wellies in places; and there’s still snow on them thar hills. 

Rawcliffe Moss

Over towards the still soggy fields of Pilling Moss I could see the Lapwing flock, more than 200 of them sometimes panicking into wayward flight with their antics lifting the Golden Plover and the Black-tailed Godwits too, 15 and 32 respectively today. 

Woodpigeons numbers have been dropping of late, losing noughts rapidly with 300+ today. Fieldfare numbers down too with less than 20 in the tall trees with the aforementioned large Chaffinch flock. Afternoon is not the best time for a Barn Owl, but I did find evidence of their comings and goings along a favourite fence route, a fairly fresh pellet. 

Barn Owl pellet

Raptors on this grey day, 4 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel and 1 Sparrowhawk. 

Kestrel

Try Another Bird Blog soon and see how the numbers add up after Tuesdays effort - I'm counting on it.

And this post is also linking to Stewart in Australia  for World Bird Wednesday.

15 comments:

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

You certainly have a knack for birding. And your photos are stellar, as always!

eileeninmd said...

Another great day and count, Phil! Nice flock of Chaffinches. The Lapwings would make my day. I guess they like the soggy farm fields. There have been a few Lapwings sighted in New Jersey and one in Maryland. Of course I missed them. Your photos are amazing.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

"There’s still snow on them thar hills." and fresh Barn Owl pellets, and that would be enough to make me smile. It has been a drag of a past 3 months for me, and I am dragging along today, and I needed that little lift, gave me a smile and those little birdies are not bad either Phil. Have a Happy week~

Stuart Price said...

Wow I haven't worn wellies in a long long time, not so much walking across muddy fields here in Japan..........

My mate once lost his welly after getting stuck in deep deep sticky mud looking for a Red Breasted Goose in Suffolk........and we had to walk 2 miles back to town afterwards.

HansHB said...

A nice post with lovely photos.
This is great for WBW.

TexWisGirl said...

the chaffinches are some of the most beautiful birds ever. :)

Findlay Wilde said...

Great birds and interesting to see the owl pellet. From Findlay

mick said...

The Bramblings are beautiful. Your wet fields sound rather like ours right now - except yours would be much colder and I'm sure I couldn't splash around bare footed!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I can't get over the sheer numbers! Amazing. The birds are great individually and I can only imagine seeing so many in a single outing.

Neil said...

Interesting post.

Hanne Bente said...

Nice pictures. Bramblings and chaffinches we have in this country. Wish you a good day :) Hanne Bente

Stewart M said...

Hi there - great post.

I looked up Out Rawcliffe and up popped a map. I was surprise how close it is to where I used to teach. I taught at Brought High School.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

Stewart M - Melbourne

Gary said...

Wow, you're out of winter. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Ken Schneider said...

Very productive day for birding (and slogging in the mud). Nice images!

Adam Jones said...

Great post, and great to see the Barn Owl pellet.

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