Friday, December 3, 2010

Double Take

I took a look at a couple of places this morning, first Rawcliffe Moss and secondly the group’s ringing site near Myerscough where whilst I was away in Cyprus Will busied himself with putting seed out, altering a few mist net rides and clearing the remains of bramble stalks, the ringers enemy.

At least one Little Owl is pretty much guaranteed when I visit Rawcliffe Moss where this morning the most regular spot didn’t disappoint when a single bird sat puffed up the against the biting cold in the overhead trees.

Little Owl

A Kestrel hung about near the barn, no doubt looking for unwary mice and rats that scuttle about when things seem quiet. I parked up alongside the feeding track where 15 Woodpigeon and 2 Yellowhammers were the closest birds searching for spillage under the shooter’s seed hopper. Further along the hedge I could see 4 Blackbirds attacking the hawthorn berries as a couple more flew from there across to the wood. Slowly I walked the track, close to the hedge so as not to disturb the feeding Tree Sparrows, Chaffinches and bits and bobs that hang about with them. Eventually they flew in groups over to their refuge hedge, 130 Tree Sparrow and 10 or 12 Chaffinch only, with a couple of Blue and Great Tits and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.


I walked north disturbing 2 Brown Hare buried deep in the rough grass and they shot away over the embankment, until up near the plantation I could see 2 Buzzards being harried by the crows which always give the game away for the Buzzards who just like to wait in a convenient tree for a passing meal.

In the plantation where only a month or so ago we ringed many birds, the frosted net rides yielded 4 Chaffinch and 2 Wren but the pool was frozen solid. With so little doing I headed off towards Myerscough but stopped off to survey the River Wyre at Town End where it is partly tidal but ice floes reached across and along the water. As I stood taking a picture of the solid river a lone Fieldfare chuckled away from the hawthorns behind me and a lone Mistle Thrush watched proceedings.

River Wyre

Will had been energetic, the feeding station at Myerscough held 60 to 70 Chaffinch, 6 Tree Sparrow, at least 20 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 5 Robin and 1 Grey Wagtail, with a couple of Goldfinch nearby, and an overflying Grey Heron.

Song Thrush

Tree Sparrow

Things are looking up for a ringing session, all we need is for the snow to stay away and the early morning roads to remain ice free - that’s not a lot to ask is it?.

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