Sunday, 18 January 2009

More Of The Same, 18th January 2009

More of the same this morning as I continue my slavery feeding my ravenous horde of Tree Sparrows. At the moment I am putting a full bucket down every other day and I noticed today that this wasn't enough and as I arrived birds were leaving. I am now going to up the feed to 1.5 buckets every other day and see if that is enough.

It was a pretty horrible morning with regular blustery showers of hale or rain and not very conducive to a walk round. Over 2,500 Woodpigeons were feeding as per usual in some unharvested Oats and were constantly flushed by some Roe Deer. There were 10 Roe Deer in the group and it was interesting to watch how they crossed in to the field of oats. Between the field they were in and the field of oats there is a large ditch and in the corner of the field is a foot bridge across it. The deer wandered over to this corner, hopped the fence and crossed the bridge! They were obviously very used to crossing here.

At the feeding station Tree Sparrows numbered 157 and other than a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker that was just about it. On the way home I had cracking views of a Kestrel dropping on a small mammal. I could see the Kestrel hovering by the side of the road, getting lower and lower as they do when they have 'locked-on' to something, and then just as I was alongside it, it dropped on to the verge. I could see it momentarily wrestling with its prey and it was trying to concentrate on the job in hand whilst keeping one eye on me at the same time. It took off from the verge with a small mammal safely caught, did a quick shuffle to re-arrange its' 'cargo' and off it went. Superb!

Nigel sent me the two pictures below of some Pine Siskins in his garden and I hope you agree with me that at first glance they look a lot like Twite, particularly those feeding on the ground.

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