Saturday, 8 November 2008

Soggy Seed, 8th November 2008

I sometimes wonder whether I should have called this blog Rawcliffe Moss birder as most of my entries are from here at the moment! I was at Moss House Farm again this morning to 'top up' at the feeding station and I did manage to have a walk round in between the blustery showers. There was plenty of seed left at the feeding station but it was very soggy after all the rain and a fresh supply was required. I only counted 60 Tree Sparrows at the feeding station today, but when it is windy they are very difficult to count as they stick close to the hedge. Also, the time of day makes a difference, as I know that some of 'my' birds fly off northwest, presumably to another feeding station on Pilling Moss.

At first walking round, as it was so blustery, it was difficult to get an idea of exactly what was about, but with a bit of patience and perseverance birds appeared. At first I thought Thrush numbers were down but by carefully walking a number of hedgerows and wooded areas numbers increased and I ended up with 23 Redwings, 18 Blackbirds, 4 Song Thrush and 50 Fieldfares.

'Continental' type Blackbird

I don't know what possessed me to do this but I decided to count the Pheasants as I walked round the farm. Yes, I know, I can hear you all screaming "what on earth for"! Anyway, I did, and counted 41. What that means I am not sure! Other than there are one or two Pheasants around.

Back to proper birds and one of the main features of recent walks round the farm have been the number of Skylarks and Starlings and this morning was no exception. I counted 52 Skylarks feeding in stubble in different fields and 5,141 Starlings in different groups. Pink-footed Geese were very much in evidence, but the majority of the birds were getting up in the distance from Pilling Moss, and I counted 2,504.

I had two more Woodcock in the 'L' wood. The second bird that I flushed gave cracking views. It was very close when I flushed it and it had to really power vertically upwards to clear the bramble that it was feeding amongst and for a few seconds I could pick every feather detail out on the bird. As soon as it cleared the bramble it flew round and dropped down again. Superb!

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