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