Thursday, December 17, 2009

Three Hundred Up

More buckets of seed today but I did get a very high count of Tree Sparrows at the Rawcliffe feeding station when my early morning visit revealed at least 305 birds.

Other birds seen at the feeding spot included 30 Starlings, 15 Chaffinch, 12 Woodpigeon, 3 Reed Bunting, 9 Blackbirds and 2 Yellowhammer. The addition of old windfall apples adds to the variety of food on offer and to the range of species.

Otherwise, it was a very quiet morning with a cold easterly breeze that kept me on my toes.

Up towards Curlew Farm a flock of 12 Linnets was the first Linnet I had seen at the farm for a couple of months, whilst 40 more Chaffinch moved along the hawthorn hedge. Then a single Redwing darting in and out as I approached just about sums up their abundance at the moment. Not so Reed Buntings, which can be found in most small damp spots around the farm as I counted another seven between here and the plantation where a flock of 6 Goldfinch fed on the alder catkins.

Also in the new wood were a few more Blackbirds, Chaffinch and the inevitable Wrens that will still be there scratching a living when the snow comes. Further up I disturbed a couple of Grey Partridge from the roadside whilst 2 Kestrels quartered the stubble fields and a Stonechat searched out the flimsiest plants from which to watch what I was up to. I had a short glimpse of a female Merlin that shot dark and low behind a line of trees, to then as usual evaporate into the landscape. As it passed over the field it disturbed a gang of 15 Skylark enough for them to take to the air, but after a while they settled back to play unseen in the stubble. Here is an old digitised slide of Skylark, can’t remember where, can’t remember when, but it sure looks like a cold day with those fingerless mitts in use.

More cold to come, even snow, if those weathermen are right.


Pete Woodruff said...

Keeping an eye on your blog Phil, well both actually. You take some excellent pics these days and one in yesterdays post of the Goldeneye pair was exceptional. Is the Tree Sparrow count today - an impressive number - your all time best?

Phil said...

Hi Pete

Tree Sparrows could well be highest ever, not to mention the highest in Lancashire but watch this space. I think the extra feeding + boxes (not just from FRG) is having a positive effect on the Tree Sparrow population. Regards. Phil

Pete Woodruff said...

I thought the count sounded quite something Phil and I watch this space with much interest.

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