Friday, December 4, 2015

Still Here!

There have been times during the last month of wind, rain and grey skies when I thought I’d never get out birding or ringing ever again. November will surely be one of the most dismal on record. My last ringing session was on 4th November, and although our ringing site at Oakenclough has been topped with bird food regularly the dreadful weather has not allowed any further ringing. Today was my turn with the buckets, one of Nyger and the other of mixed seed where I found that a reasonable number of Chaffinches, Goldfinches and Blackbirds had not deserted the site. 

Blackbird

But once again the morning was too blowy for ringing so I made my way back to Pilling and some birding. At Fluke Hall the flooded stubble held approximately 140 flighty Lapwings and just 2 Pied Wagtails where the tracks through the soft, peaty ground told me the field had seen regular disturbance from the shooters’ visits. 

Pilling Morning

Eight Whooper Swans flew over and headed south of the wood to a spot unknown and out of sight. Meanwhile a walk through the wood revealed a Brambling or two in the treetops among a handful of Chaffinch. A Brambling’s nasal wheezing is quite unlike the typical sounds made by its close cousin the Chaffinch, and once learned a Brambling’s call is never forgotten. Otherwise the wood was quiet except for the usual mix of titmice and several Blackbirds. 

Brambling

Near Lane Ends a large party of approximately 1400 Pink-footed Geese fed in a roadside field, the geese keeping a safe and suitable distance from peering eyes and slowing vehicles. I was 125 yards away where I “grilled” them for a while from the wound down car window but failed to find any interlopers like Barnacle, White-fronted or Bean Geese. At the present time there are many more geese frequenting fields within 800 yards of my home but there are few roads or stopping places from which to take a closer look. Our winter visiting Pinkfeet use their local knowledge and experience gained over a number of years to as much as possible stay out of sight and out of mind while keeping one eye on quick escape from predators, especially those with guns. The average lifespan of a Pink-footed Goose is eight years, the longevity record is more than 38 years, ample time to learn the ropes. 

Pink-footed Geese

Just along from Lane Ends were 10 Little Egrets feeding in a grassy but wet field, the meadow more sheltered than the marsh where the egrets are more usually found. From the sea wall came the sound of an unseen Little Grebe on the pool hidden from view, and out on the marsh a distant Peregrine. I stopped at Wrampool Brook to find the flock of circa 120 Linnets in the set-aside field together with a fence-hopping Kestrel. It’s not only a good weedy field for the Linnets but there’s a handy ditch with mammal prey for both owls and Kestrels. 

Kestrel

A look at Braides Farm found two Buzzards and two Carrion Crows in the area of the farmer’s pile of refuse again. The Buzzards were fence-hopping while searching the ground from above and below and also the midden for insects and worms, as were the crows. I think that all were looking to steal off each other but I imagine the Buzzards would come out on top of any dispute. 

Buzzard

Buzzard

The wind began to pick up again. There's yet another Yellow Weather Warning for the weekend. 

No problem, there will be news, views and more pictures very soon with Another Bird Blog, so please return another day.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird WednesdayAnni's Birding and Eileen's Saturday.




25 comments:

Linda said...

Beautiful series, Phil! :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful birding .. Thanks for sharing ...I need to try to be better at recognizing bird calls and sounds. Your post makes me realize how all of those wheezing sounds would just blend into the background for me ( of course I'd never see or hear that particular bird anyway, but the idea is the same ... All I'm missing!)

Tony McGurk said...

I really like the photo of the Kestrel on the post with the barbed wire. Great shot. I always thought for some reason that a Buzzard was a Vulture like bird. Now I know better.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

You definitely found some beautiful species. Your weather sounds like what we've had this past week, but it's cleared off and the cold lingers. Thankfully, our blustery weather and cold snap doesn't last long....at least with any 'normal' fall/winter season.

That morning photo is absolutely gorgeous. Of course I like ALL the bird photos.

Marleen said...

I love the photo of that brambling. A beautiful bird!

David Gascoigne said...

Damn, I had just ordered the wreath! Still time to cancel though.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, gorgeous images and post. The morning shot is lovely and the Brambling is a beautiful bird. I love the Kestrel and the Buzzard. It would be cool to see these large flocks of Geese and the Lapwings. Lucky you! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

EG CameraGirl said...

Sadly I haven't been out birding much in the past few weeks either, But I did get out last week and I;m glad you did too.

Lea said...

Great photos! Love the Kestrel!
Have a wonderful week-end!
Lea

Jane said...

Beautiful images :)

Anni said...

I swear, if I only lived in England, the Pink Footed Goose would be on my list of one to find/photograph!!!

Once again, thanks for linking up for viewing this weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin'

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The Brambling is a new bird to me, thanks for the pic and info, Phil.

As always, I love your Kestrel shot(s).
~

Stuart Price said...

Hope you haven't benn flooded out.............

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Excellent series of pics ..Great work .. Congratulations ..

sandyland said...

never saw a blackbird that was nit black?? brambling beautiful

June Caedmon said...

Your buzzards are beautiful. They look more like our hawks/falcons here in the US. Nothing like our vultures, which I've often heard people call "buzzards" - obviously in error! November was rather bleak here as well, but December is shaping up nicely. Hope your weather improves!

Marie C said...

What a great day of birding, Phil! Loved your sightings, especially the photos of the buzzard. Hope you have a great upcoming week!

Barb said...

That Brambling is a beautiful bird. The Kestrel looks like you were interrupting it!

carol l mckenna said...

All very gorgeous photos of the beautiful birds ~ Great post!

Wishing you the magic and love of the season, xox
artmusedog and carol

Liz said...

Beautiful shots Phil! You do have quite a collection here. It must have been a great day!

Mary Cromer said...

Your comment to me certainly shared a bleak story on your weather along with reading post shares. Then add in all of the other things that come along during the change in season and one wants to continue forward and germs stop us, weather hinders us, and yet alas we have our family and friends and the hope for the next day to be better. I enjoyed the shares of the day, but in particular the Buzzard on that fence row was quite interesting as well as lovely. Take good care Phil~

Findlay Wilde said...

More brilliant pictures. Our ringing has been badly effected by the weather as well.

Les Fous du Cap said...

Lovely series ;-)
Céline & Philippe

Margaret Adamson said...

I like the shot of the Brambling

Adam Jones said...

That's a cracking looking Brambling Phil. I feel exactly the same re the weather of late. It's thoroughly depressing. Hopefully it will get a bit colder and dryer soon and maybe we'll get some Waxwings as a reward. We live in hope.

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