Friday, 16 January 2009

Magical Mossland, 13th January 2009

I'm not talking about mossland in the true sense of Lowland Raised Bog, and that is truly magical, I'm talking about the mossland on Rawcliffe Moss as being magical especially just before dusk. I called at Moss House Farm to put some food down and had the last hour before it got dark having a wander round. As per usual the numbers of Woodpigeons remained high at 2,938 and I wondered when they would start to disperse. I suppose the numbers could actually build up even more before they start dispersing. In the same field as the Woodpigeons were 4 Roe Deer that are very confiding at the moment.

The feeding station revealed 85 Tree Sparrows, and I suppose it is possible that some had already gone to roost. Other birds at the feeding station were a handful of Chaffinch and 6 Yellowhammers. A small flock of 10 Linnets zipped over and I counted 10 Blackbirds on my walk round. As I walked down the track I could see a group of 5 Swans approaching me flying fairly low and they didn't look a great deal bigger than the Pinkie that was accompanying them. They started to call and straight away I realised they were Bewick's and they then passed straight over head giving stonking views. Bewick's is quite a good tick in my notebook as numbers wintering in the Fylde in recent years have reduced.

I decided to have a walk through the 'L' Wood to see if I could flush any Woodcock and low and behold I flushed one almost immediately. I then headed north along the track towards the new plantation and as I passed a pile of stones I thought to myself "this is where a Little Owl hung out all summer" and then one flew from the stones and back towards the L Wood.

The walk through the plantation revealed little other than two Grey Partridges and I started heading back along the track. Grey Partridges are very active at dusk and I did record 7 in total which is more than recent weeks. As I headed back along the track I caught sight of a Short-eared owl perched up on a post. I got quite close before it flew further east along the ditch and perched up on another fence post. Magic! I had been wanting to see this beasty for several weeks now as my mate Phil had seen it on a couple of occasions and so had the farmer.

When I got back after my walk round it was virtually dark and still some Tree Sparrows called from the hedge by the feeding station. These birds were obviously roosting on site. I think some of them move off site to roost and others remain. As I unlocked my car the noise flushed something from the field next to where I was parked and I could see 'patches' of white bobbing away from me. As I lifted my bins for a closer look I could pick out 6 Roe Deer in the gloom. As I took my hat and coat off I could hear the haunting calls of Whooper Swans as they headed to their roost.

I called very briefly to feed again today (16th) and I had 5 Redshank feeding on the flood just before the barn. In the adjacent field were 600 Black-headed Gulls and about 60 Common Gulls. I had a good look through them but couldn't turn any Med Gulls up. 130 Tree Sparrows were at the feeding station and a calling Tawny Owl ended this quick visit.

Some of the latest pictures sent to me by Nigel in Canada include this American Kestrel below.

Year list = 71

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