Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Weighing It Up

The new feeding station near Garstang was due a top-up this morning and it was time to see how many birds have found the foodstuff in the last ten days. Depending upon the numbers present and the species mix there could well be a ringing session soon. 

It’s a thirty minute car journey inland heading in an easterly direction towards the Bowland hills, through countryside where I glimpsed more than a few interesting birds but no time to linger - Kestrel, Buzzard, Tawny Owl and Mistle Thrush. 

Mistle Thrushes often start singing from early November, December and into the New Year, from a treetop or other elevated spot. The male is most vocal in the early morning with its tendency to sing after, and sometimes during, wet and windy weather, a trait which led to the old English name of Storm Cock or stormcock. 

Mistle Thrush

As I neared the wooded uplands I noted several Jays, many crows plus dozens of pheasants and Red-legged Partridges. Yes, it’s sporting countryside within a stone's throw of where Hen Harriers are sought out for special attention. 

As I arrived there was a Roe Deer rushing up and down, trying to find its way over the barbed wire fence and back to where it came from, away from vehicles and humans. After a while the animal found the open gate just down the hill. Linking today to Run-A-Round Ranch.

Roe Deer

Birds are no different to us humans in being able to find food, and just as we can see and smell a takeaway shop along the high street, so are birds able to quickly locate a new buffet table laid out near their homes. 

Around the bird feeders and from a standing start just over a week ago, I found a good mix of 12+ Coal Tit, several Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tit, 4 or more Goldcrest and single Chiffchaff and Nuthatch. The number of conifer trees in the area accounts for the good numbers of Coal Tits and Goldcrests. 

Blue Tit

Coal Tit

The general idea is to catch finches so good news arrived in the form of 20+ Chaffinch, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Goldfinch, and then 1+ Siskin overhead. 

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

 Chaffinch

Other birds in the vicinity - 2 Kestrel, 4 Pied Wagtail, 6 Blackbird, 4 Mistle Thrush, 40 Lapwing. 

Pied Wagtail

I was out a good four hours this morning with no sight or sound of thrushes from Europe, the Redwings and Fieldfares now well overdue for their annual arrival in NW England. The wet and generally westerly weather, often overnight, has not been conducive to the birds setting off from Scandinavia. 

The prospects look bleak for the rest of the week as the forecast is for more of the same. Oh well, not to worry. If there’s half a chance Another Bird Blog will be out looking and reporting in here. 

Don’t miss it.



17 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

sweet deer! lovely bird shots, as always!

Wally Jones said...

What a wonderful variety of birds you found!

It seems the finches cooperated with your objective. Hopefully, the thrushes will arrive soon.

Superb photographs (naturally) and that Stormcock is one with which I'm not familiar.

Phil, I apologize for not visiting more consistently. I'm full of good excuses but I do regret my negligence.

A strong cold front is heading south on our Atlantic coast this weekend and might bring some pelagics close to shore. Hope so!

Have a good weekend!

Bob Bushell said...

Perfect bird images Phil.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The coal tit looks a lot like what we call a chickadee. Is it the same I wonder? I am envious of the sweet little blue tit ... and of your count, as always.

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, I love the cute deer. And the birds are awesome.. The Goldfinch and Wagtail are two of my favorites.. Happy birding!

Germán Ibarra Zorrilla said...

Como siempre, excelente post, amigo Phil. Te deseo una fructífera semana. Saludos cordiales.

Margaret Adamson said...

Love all the shots of the little birds and the Roe Deer.

Gerald (SK14) said...

one the few things I miss about our old home is the coal tits that used to visit my bird feeder.

Tanya Breese said...

these are great and i just love the deer :)

TexWisGirl said...

thanks, phil!

Marie said...

A Mistle Thrush! A new bird for me, and so exciting to discover it sings throughout the holidays! So aptly named. I love it! Your roe deer is lovely, and I particularly adore the blue tit but all the birds are wonderful!

Ida said...

The Roe Deer is such a beautiful animal. A bit different from the Mule and White-tail deer I'm use to seeing.
Your got some great birds shots too. Loved the little Blue Tit bird.

Ileana said...

Great , great photos!!!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

The colours are amazing!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Felicia said...

I love the deer image, it looks like she has a big ole smile on her pretty face.

Your bird images are gorgeous as usual Phil. the blue tit...so pretty.

David Gascoigne said...

You know, Phil, I think that your blog really highlights the great pleasure of having a local patch, and I know that you have alluded to this before. You get out there, check the local haunts, you are familiar with the terrain and its habitats, and you look for familiar friends. Even on a day that does not seem to hold great promise, you wind up going home with the knowledge that you have had a fine day.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I'm glad you include the deer! We love ours.

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