Sunday, 8 March 2009

Getting Towards The End Of Winter Feeding

It's funny really, at the start of the winter feeding station season in September I really look forward to it and in particular look forward to all the farmland birds that it will support and hopefully get to ring a few! However, by this time of year I am ready for a change. Perhaps it is that feeling of Spring being just round the corner and the thought of all those migrants soon to appear. So I am now in to the last week or two of feeding and will probably stop around mid March.

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks so I thought I would bring you up to date with what has been at my Rawcliffe Moss feeding station. In short, no change for the past several weeks! Well perhaps there has been some subtle changes such as lot more stuff singing, Skylarks song flighting and Lapwing displaying. Tree Sparrows have been fairly constant at about 150 birds and Yellowhammers similarly have been stable at about 4 birds, although I did have 14 on 22nd February.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers are drumming from available woodland and the peak has been three birds drumming from three different small woods. The Chaffinch numbers have been quite variable at the feeding station and a recent peak was 72 on 27th February. Corn Buntings have been similar across the farm with perhaps up to 4 birds singing and then on 3rd March I had a small flock of 25 birds.

During the past week I have been seeing a male Stonechat on a couple of occasions along the main track. Over-wintering bird or spring migrant? The number of Woodpigeons have now dropped and before when I was having 3-4 thousand recently on 6th March there were only 600 birds. Pink-footed Geese are definitely moving through and I have had up to 3,000 birds just feeding to the west of Moss House Farm. Unfortunately on this particular day I didn't have my telescope with me so I couldn't go through them.

As there is a Firecrest in Stanley park, Blackpool at the moment I thought I would show you a picture of a Firecrest that we ringed in early Spring a few years ago now at Pilling Lane Ends.

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