Tuesday, December 31, 2013


The morning began as ever, wet and windy. At home I kept one eye on the sky out west until eventually, and just about midday the horizon grew lighter, overhead gave up its dreary hue, the rain petered out and breaks of blue appeared. Hooray! I set off out Rawcliffe way, where fresh air and a spot of birding would be a welcome antidote to the excesses of Christmas and imminent New Year merriment. 

It’s very early season but I’m making both a mental and documented record of birds on territory, starting today with roadside Mistle Thrush and Kestrel at Town End en route to the farm. Both are familiar and regular locations so it’s good to see such timely activity with just a few extra minutes of daylight. At the farm entrance road were finches and buntings in very wet maize stubble. Some flew off, others sitting briefly on overhead wires where I clocked them as an unusual mix of 2 Yellowhammer, 3 Corn Bunting, 2 Linnet and 3 Greenfinch. 



There was a Green Sandpiper on the flood but even as the car slowed it flew off to a larger area of water not far away. Not a good start to see all the birds fly off, but things did improve. 

Down on the farm proper were good numbers of sparrows, finches and buntings - 160+ Tree Sparrows, 7 Yellowhammer, 12 Corn Bunting, 14 Goldfinch, 20+ Chaffinch and 6 Linnet. Feeding in the wet pasture I found 450+ Starlings and 40+ Fieldfare. There are hardly any berries left for Fieldfares so stubble and wet meadowland is now the best option for finding them, very often in the company of Starlings. 


My walk continued alongside woods, plantations and hedgerows where I noted 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Buzzard, 40+ Woodpigeon, 5 Stock Dove, a total of 21 Blackbirds and 4 Roe Deer. 

I motored back via Pilling Moss, stopping along the way to note 2 roadside Kestrels, 75+ Fieldfare, 140+ Starlings and 1 Buzzard. 


Already at 1500 the light was fading and the sun dropping, with a dozen or more Whooper Swans heading west to their roost on Pilling Marsh. 

Time to head home and put the bubbly on ice. 

Bubbly - Cheers, A Happy and Prosperous New Year 

 No worries, Another Bird Blog will be back in 2014.


David Gascoigne said...

Great pictures. I especially like the Yellowhammer.

Gisle said...

Great pictures! Interesting blog!

Happy new Year!

retriever said...

Wonderfull birds fotos, and Champagne for 2014
❊ * 。❊ 。 ❊ _█_ ❊ 。 * ❊
_Π_____ (•.•) * 5☆★☆★☆
❊ /______/~\ ( ♥ ) ❊ 2014 Happy Day ❊
|田 田 |門| ( ♥ ) Happy New Year❊

Kay L. Davies said...

Always enjoy your bird photos, Phil. The fieldfare is lovely, and the yellowhammer is my favourite kind of bird: short and fat and colourful.
May your bottle of bubbly usher in a year that is happy, healthy, and for the birds!

Carole M. said...

Yellowhammer would certainly lift your day Phil; likewise the Greenfinch trio. What a way to end the post with a bottle of bubbly; so tempting! Best wishes to you both

Stuart Price said...

Hope you enjoyed the champers Phil........

Stewart M said...

Nice set of pictures - I look forward to catching up with some of these birds in 2014.

Thanks for visits and comments over the past year.

Hope you have a good New Year.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne!

eileeninmd said...

I love the Yellowhammer also, looks like your 2014 is off to a great start.. Beautiful photos.

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Happy New Year Phil and I am looking forward to all that you will be sharing with us this year. Always such a pleasure to drop by and see what you have been up to and hear your stories as well as see the beauty in your image shares. That Fieldfare is special and your Oystercatcher header/banner looks quite dapper too!

Lew Newman said...

Enjoyed the walk with you, Phil. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year

Russell Jenkins said...

The Yellowhammer is a real stunner, Phil. I hope you have a great 2014!

Choy Wai Mun said...

Good one, Phil. Happy New Year!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful birds.

The happy wanderer. said...

Happy New Year, Phil, and may 2014 bring you some special birds. The Yellowhammer takes me back to the top of the South Island of New Zealand where they were introduced and have become part of the scene. A male sat and sang his heart out as I edged my closer to him, and allowed me to get some photos. It was a memorable experience, and I think he's now on the NZ birds online site.

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