Friday, February 12, 2010

Oh Dear

Over on Rawcliffe Moss I saw quite a few different species this afternoon, some I hadn't seen for a week or two, but I didn’t get many bird photographs because either the little critters weren’t playing ball or I just wasn’t doing the right thing.

I did get fairly close to a couple of groups of Roe Deer, a party of five then a separate group of four in a different location. I don’t know anything about Roe Deer except that they are incredibly difficult to approach, but I found some information at

"The Roe Deer is primarily crepuscular, or primarily active during the twilight, very quick and graceful, lives in woods although it may venture into grasslands and sparse forests. It feeds mainly on grass, leaves, berries and young shoots. It particularly likes very young, tender grass with a high moisture content, i.e., grass that has received rain the day before. Roe deer will not generally venture into a field that has had or has livestock (sheep, cattle) in it because the livestock make the grass unclean.

The Roe Deer attains a maximum life span (in the wild) of ten years. When alarmed, it will bark a sound much like a dog and flash out its white rump patch. Rump patches differ between the sexes, with the white rump patches heart-shaped on females and kidney-shaped on males. Males may also bark, make a low grunting noise or make a high pitched wolf-like whine when attracting mates during the breeding season, often luring multiple does into their territory. The Roe Deer spends most of its life alone, preferring to live solitary except when mating during the breeding season".

Roe Deer

Roe Deer

I checked out the feeding spot for Tree Sparrows and counted 120, with upwards of 15 Yellowhammer and 18 Chaffinch. In another part of the farm, and alternating between a dense hedge and the edge of a stubbly field I found 30 more Chaffinch, 4 Yellowhammer, 34 Corn Buntings, 2 Reed Buntings and a single male Brambling. So a good count of these species but as noted before, some seem to prefer natural food to ringer’s largesse, or maybe there is a constant changeover with them all taking both types of food during a feeding day.

Corn Bunting



Reed Bunting

There were 6 Blackbirds along the hedge but I must say that the cold weather and frozen ground of the last few months does appear to have thinned out the population here and elsewhere, unless many return from further south and west soon to replenish numbers.

The feeding station had proved attractive to a Jay that flew back across to the wood when it clocked me approaching, then soon after a female Sparrowhawk silenced the feeding birds before it too sought to watch proceedings from the wood. From the trees I heard the familiar “chick” call of a Great-spotted Woodpecker but no afternoon drumming call.

Up the footpath a pair of Kestrels hunted and hovered the stubble; and I say a pair because they were a male and female that at one point sat close together on a barbed wire boundary fence. Near the plantation I disturbed two pairs of Grey Partridge from cover but within the confines of the trees all I could find were 3 Goldfinch in the alders, a Moorhen near the pool, couple of chattering Wrens and a Reed Bunting along the close by ditch.


I finished off my walk with 2 Buzzards spiralling into the afternoon air and out of reach of my lens. Oh dear, not many new pics today apart from the deer but at least the weather looks dry for the next few days with the promise of low wind speeds and still nets for ringing.


Forest the Bear said...


Russell Jenkins said...

Some excellent photographs. Really like the Yellowhammer and the Kestrel.

madibirder said...

Dear Phil.
Seen deers on a deer farm but never in the wild. Love the Yellowhammmer, great colours.

CE Webster said...

I really enjoyed the pictures--very nice!

S.C.E. said...

Nice Kestrel shot...........

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