Sunday, January 16, 2011

Patience Is A Virtue

I held fire through the constant rain of Saturday, lasted out this morning’s downpour, and then ate lunch in the conservatory to the torture of more rainfall on the glass roof. Finally at 1330 the rain eased a little, the battleship sky turned a lighter shade of grey and I got out birding for an hour or two. I suppose I could have gone out in the rain, birding of sorts, driving around likely spots with all the other dudes looking for the “stakeouts”, the Bradshaw Lane buntings, the grebe in genteel St Annes, the diver diving in the dock, the Preston Gull, the plastic goose, etc., etc., but what’s the point of that?. It’s much better to do your own thing, that’s my philosophy: or as Thomas Edison is reputed to have said as he waited patiently for his electric light bulb to shine out – “Everything comes to he who waits”.

I got to Rawcliffe Moss via several flooded dips in the road but nothing too dramatic, except that near both Town End and Cartford Bridge the level of the River Wyre looked on the high side. The farm road was also pretty wet but nothing the Suzuki couldn’t handle.

Already the Little Owl had broken cover and sat in the usual spot even though the rain still spat out its final drops. Then almost immediately I got onto a little party of 5 Grey Partridge walking alongside the road towards the car, only to be frightened off by a Merc hurtling through the spray towards them, but just time to grab a photo of one in the grass.

Grey Partridge

Little Owl

Down the main track through the flooded potholes there wasn’t much to see but I parked up, donned wellies and struck out. Across the fields and over the wood Jackdaws battled it out with a Buzzard, and together they put to flight 70 Fieldfare, 5 Stock Dove and about 130 Woodpigeon. Down the track and 90+ Tree Sparrows, 5 Yellowhammer, 2 Reed Buntings, 2 Blackbirds and perhaps 10 or 12 Chaffinch, so difficult when they all fly off more or less together, but the soft flight call of the yellow bunting stands out from chippy calls of the finches and sparrows or the wheeze of the Reed Bunting.


At the big field I found the flock of Chaffinch that have used the same spot through the winter, but only 45 today, plus a couple of Linnets and one more Reed Bunting. Over towards the houses I located a Mistle Thrush, in the holly tree they always commandeer despite it now bearing almost no fruit – maybe they will build a nest in it in a week or two like the early nesters they are. I hadn’t seen the next Buzzard sat on the distant trackside post, not until it lifted off and flew west towards Pilling Moss and the safety of its regular wood and unvarying tree. The little plantation was quiet with a couple of Chaffinch and 4 Magpies, then 4 Roe Deer startled into action by me when they shot off at great speed, through the tree cover then over the adjacent field.


Roe Deer

It wasn’t a bad couple of hours birding, a bit of a bonus while having withdrawal symptoms for a day or two and suffering in silence, just as blokes do.

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