Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Do or Die Birding

At last this morning the rain and wind eased enough to attempt a spot of birding, and although there was still a stiff, cold breeze there was a hint of sunshine. After a couple of birdingless days it was do or die for yours truly. 

I decided to give Fluke Hall the once over. There’s the shore, the wintry fields, the woodland and a good number of hedgerows, all worth a look for lingering signs of winter and maybe one or two hints of Spring. 

In the field behind the car park were 5 Pied Wagtails and a tight feeding flock of 70+ very flighty Twite, the birds taking to the air at the slightest disturbance. Close by a close relative of theirs a Linnet was in good singing voice from the hedgerow with both Goldfinch and Greenfinch singing from the trees above. 

Greenfinch

There’s a pair of Kestrels on territory and it looks like the Buzzards are back after going missing for a few weeks or more. A pair of Mistle Thrushes made lots of noise; I watched as they joined forces to chase off a third bird intent on being in their territory. 

The Mistle Thrush, the largest of our UK thrushes is renowned for being aggressive in defending both a feeding territory and a nest, and only in autumn migration time are they likely to be seen in smallish flocks. Mistle Thrushes are regularly chronicled attacking Nest Recorders and bird ringers who stray close to an active nest. The noisy, rattling attack they employ against trespassers must be quite disconcerting to anyone not in the know. 

Mistle Thrush

A Great-spotted Woodpecker flew calling from the trees but no sign today of the Nuthatch which has been around all winter. Today saw a pair of Stock Dove, hole nesting birds and a regular breeding species here. Thankfully the wood here is not overly managed in the modern way of removing the rotten trees that birds favour for nesting by either making or using existing holes. 

The still wet fields held lots of waders with upwards of 550 Golden Plover, 130 Lapwing, 60 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 24 Oystercatcher and 4 Black-tailed Godwit. It was a bit too cold and blustery for Skylark song with just 3 birds noted plus 6 Meadow Pipit and 1 Pied Wagtail. 

Near Lane Ends a Buzzard crossed the road and a Kestrel hovered, circled and hovered again. Beyond Gulf Lane and Sand Villa several thousand Pink-footed Geese were scattered across the fields too distant to study or count with any degree of accuracy but “3500+” was the notebook entry. 

At windswept Conder Green a Robin said “hello” from its usual spot along the fence while the reliable Spotted Redshank and 70+ Teal proved the climax. Otherwise just 2 Goosander, 2 Little Grebe and single Goldeneye the also-rans. 

Robin

Spotted Redshank

Thrushes were the highlight of Thurnham with a pair of Mistle Thrush along a line of trees plus 28 Redwing and 4 Fieldfare feeding in the wet fields with c 70 Starlings. Four Little Egrets on a flood. 

Fieldfare

If the forecast of a falling wind speed is correct Andy and I might finally get a crack at some ringing tomorrow. If so log in to Another Bird Blog tomorrow for an update and pictures. 

Linking today to Run-a-Roundranch.




15 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

love the fieldfare and the mistle thrush!

David Gascoigne said...

You truly are the living proof that working a local patch on a regular basis is perhaps the most rewarding birding of all. I am sure that regular readers of your blog are just about as familiar with it as you are, and we all enjoy it vicariously. Great work, Phil. And no more about cold breezes you big baby!!

eileeninmd said...

Phil, glad you were able to get out birding... Wonderful birds and gorgeous photos. It is too hard to pick a favorite. We had black ice this morning and 8-10 inches of snow due overnight..Happy Birding to you!

Linda said...

Phil, so glad to see a post from you. Your captures are glorious and captivating. :)

Chris Rohrer said...

You really have some lovely images of the Fieldfare and I think I'm in love with your Mistle Thrush. What a beautiful bird. The markings are quite distinct. The Greenfinch almost looks like our Evening Grosbeak over here by the way its sitting and calling:) And then there's a Redshank. But that Fieldfare.....

Andrew Fulton said...

Wonderful images Phil...

Margaret Adamson said...

Lovely selection of birds today Phil.

Gunilla Bäck said...

The thrush is a beauty and I always love seeing robins.

Knipsa Passtscho said...

Beautiful bird pictures!
I love the robin :)
Have a beautiful day
【ツ】Knipsa

Marie said...

I love that mistle thrush...I've never seen one, even pictured. Great birds!

TexWisGirl said...

thanks, phil!

Ida said...

What a sweet little Robin sitting on that fence. - You always have such pretty bird shots. I really like the Green Finch and the Mistle Thrush. Birds I've never seen before.

DeniseinVA said...

A delightful series of birds. I saw a Fieldfare for the first time last summer, and I would love to see a Mistle Thrush next time I go.

Janice Adcock said...

Thanks for sharing these nice shots.

Lew Newman said...

I love spots!

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