I had a bit more time this morning when I went to feed at Moss House Farm and I had a good walk round. As soon as I arrived on site I could see that there were masses of 'Pinkies' moving round and my count of 2,364 was probably an underestimate. Likewise the numbers of Woodpigeons, or Cooshat, as they are sometimes referred to in Yorkshire was high and I counted 2,305. Apparently they are feeding on some unharvested Oats just to the west of Moss House Farm and on unharvested Oats near Garstang Golf Club. This will account for the large numbers that arrive from the east during the day. Large westerly movements in the morning will be birds coming from their roost in the Bleasdale area.
There were 31 Chaffinch around this morning and these included a handful at the feeding station as well as birds scattered around feeding on natural food. A number of finches including a few Chaffinch, 40 Linnets and 40 Goldfinch were feeding in stubble to the north of Curlew Wood. There were also 27 Fieldfares and 6 Redwings in the area too. I will probably put a couple of nets up in the week along these hedges and see if I can catch a few of the Linnets in particular.
Buzzards were very noticeable this morning and I had 4 individuals dotted around the farm. Tree Sparrow numbers at the feeding station were as I would expect and numbered 180. None of them were with the Linnets and Goldfinch at Curlew Wood.
In the 'big field' towards the wild bird seed mix I had 3 Roe Deers that kept a careful eye on me. Its as if these animals can sometimes be curious and want to find out who you are. I imagine it is more of a case that they are trying to work out whether you are actually a threat or not.
I only recorded a single Yellowhammer and 2 Corn Buntings at the north end of the farm. One of the Corn Buntings was singing from a willow along the ditch. Along the track towards the plantation I had a male and female Stonechat. I was enjoying close views until someone with a couple of four-legged bird scarers came along and flushed them.
In the plantation it was quiet, as you would expect at this time of year, apart from a couple of Grey Partridges, 5 Reed Buntings and 3 Snipe. Walking back towards the car I bobbed into the L wood and flushed a Woodcock. The only other birds of note that I had here were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper and Goldcrest.
As I stopped off at the barn to drop my bucket back at the feed bin I flushed 400 Starlings from some stubble and 15 House Sparrows were lurking round the barn.
The random picture today is of a Cooper's Hawk taken by my mate Nigel in Canada. What a cracker!
After I left Moss House Farm I went to Light Ash Farm, which is farmed as part of Myerscough College, to check some game cover crops that we have permission to ring in. The cover crops weren't exactly jumping with birds but there were 8 Reed Buntings, 8 Blackbirds and 85 Chaffinch moved through the hedge adjacent to the crop. I will probably return in the week and cut a ride and give it a go.
Myself and colleagues in Northumberland and Derbyshire have set up a competitive year list next year for birds recorded from our office and the immediate area and birds recorded when we are on farm visits. It will be a bit of fun but I think I will probably receive a thrashing from my mate in Northumberland!
Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve, Hempton Marsh Reserve, Titchwell RSPB & Holme Bird Observatory! - I had a fabulous day's birding in the sunshine, but it was bitterly cold and every layer of clothing was required! The main aim of the day was to see Willo...
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