Thursday, 6 November 2008

Buteo Air Supremacy, 2nd November 2008

This morning at Moss House Farm the (Common) Buzzards were very much in evidence and at one point 4 were thermalling together over the 'L' wood. I have put 'Common' in brackets because these prefixes that we attach to a number of bird species now really annoy me. I can only assume that we are doing this for the benefit of the Americans who can't name their birds properly anyway. American Robin! What Robin, it's a turdus! So we now have 'common' this, 'northern' that and 'european' the other and it drives me mad! Mind you if someone from the BOU taxonomic committee is reading this they would probably tell me that this is based on a sound scientific basis!

Anyway enough ranting and back to the Buzzards, just plain old simple Buzzards and what a spectacle they were as they circled round and round gaining height. It was as if they were in some sort of gliding competition and were attempting to out soar each other. I called at the farm to feed and my mate Phil had got there just before me. Now I like bumping in to friends for a walk round and a natter, but it is the nattering that's the problem and it is down to me. I think because in my job I work alone all day in the main and when I am in the company of fellow humans I tend to talk too much and today was no exception. So that's why I prefer to bird alone so I am giving it 100% concentration. This morning walking round with Phil we probably didn't see as much as we should have because I was talking too much by telling Phil what a fantastic Northwest Ringers Conference he had missed the day before.

There weren't as many thrushes around this morning and we only had 33 Redwings knocking about and most of these we had flushed from some thick cover along a ditch on the edge of Curlew Wood. Numbers of 'Pink-feet' were around and we had 2,310 moving around.

In addition to the Buzzards the only other raptors we had were single Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. I don't know whether it is me or not, but I have seen a good number of Kestrels this year and not as many Sparrowhawks. Perhaps the Kestrels have had a good breeding season.

As usual the feeding station was dominated by Tree Sparrows and 140 were feeding on the seed along with a handful of Chaffinch and single Reed Bunting. Skylarks were still evidence in the stubble in the 'big' field and 16 were getting up and down from there.

The 'big' field

From the plantation we flushed a Woodcock from a clump of Alders and that was my first of the autumn. The only sighting of minor note was a flock of 300 Starling feeding in stubble. Numbers of Starlings have increased in recent days.

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