Friday, 23 October 2009

All Quiet On The Moss

I called at Rawcliffe Moss this afternoon to feed the Tree Sparrows and also to have a wander round as a pleasant way to end the working week and start the weekend. The weather was quiet, in that it was warm with a fairly light southeasterly wind. Never mind the weather being quiet, the birding was exceedingly quiet! Mostly.

As I headed down the track a few Robins and Dunnocks called and a male Yellowhammer perched on top of the hedge looked at me with that black beady eye that they have. One of the best black beady eyes can be found on adult male Yellow Warbler. Awesome! And did you know that in my opinion the best under-tail coverts are to be found on Black-and-white Warbler. Mmmm, absolutely stonking! Take my word for it. Anyway, I digress.

As I approached the feeding area I could see that there were a good number of Tree Sparrows and as they flitted across to another hedge as I approached I counted 133, the highest total for the autumn so far. From here it was up the '97' hedge and it was along here that I started to realise how quiet it was. Very little calling and absolutely nothing moving.

The next sign of life was along the track across the top fields where 44 Skylarks lifted from the stubble. I then walked through the plantation and it was deathly silent. No Eastern Crowned Warbler or such like in here! It was warm as I stated earlier and in the plantation I had two Red Admirals and as I came out of the plantation a dragonfly shot past, too quick for me to identify it.

Heading south and back towards the car I pushed four Roe Deers out of the plantation and two Snipe flew overhead calling. As I walked along the hedge opposite Curlew Wood 7 Long-tailed Tits crossed the road into the wood and two Redwings moved along the hedge in front of me. Back at the car I could hear a Tawny Owl calling and 41 Pink-footed Geese lifted off the stubble field to the west.

You can't see their under-tail coverts, but aren't
they stunning?

On this date back in 1985 I was in Wells Wood, Norfolk late in the afternoon twitching Radde's Warbler. I say twitching, but at this time I lived in north Norfolk and Wells Wood was one of my regular haunts. The 23rd October 1985 was a Wednesday and I had decided to look for the Radde's after work. Considering it was mid-week there were a number of birders around and I soon found the location of the Radde's in a scrubby area in the wood, because a hawthorn bush was surrounded by birders! I joined the posse surrounding the bush and waited and within a few minutes out popped the Radde's seemingly oblivious to the throng gathered watching it. There was also a Pallas's Warbler at Wells but light and time got the better of me and I didn't see it.


Newton Stringer said...

stripey humbug nuthatch warblers !

Fleetwood Birder said...

A perfect description!