What a difference a day makes! Up as usual before dawn and the weather was completely different from yesterday, although this wasn't a surprise as the forecast had suggested this. I needed to put some food down at my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss and went there first thing. In fact it was actually calm enough to put nets up!
As soon as I started to walk down the hedge with my bucket of seed I had Reed Bunting and Tree Sparrow calling. I only had the one Reed Bunting down the hedge to the feeding station but in total on my walk round I recorded another four in the plantation. At the feeding station itself I flushed 51 Tree Sparrows from the hedge. This is quite an increase from last time, so I imagine it won't take long now for the numbers to really build up. I did have another two Tree Sparrows on my walk in the hedges along the lane adjacent to Curlew Wood.
After I did a bit of trimming of the hedge in preparation for a forthcoming ringing session, I set off walking north along the '97' hedge. The first birds I had were Skylarks calling over head. It is sometimes difficult sorting the Skylarks out here in terms of whether they are just local birds moving around or weather they are genuine migrants moving some distance. Today they fell into the latter category as the majority of them seemed to arrive very high and slowly move off south or west. In total I counted 164 as I walked round and to be honest I probably missed a few.
I thought I was going to have a few Pink-footed Geese moving this morning as early on I had a skein of 24 go south and then another than 10 birds that headed northwest and that was it! A few Chaffinch were on the move. I could hear flight calls overhead but couldn't see them. Mind you when I say a few it probably was just a few because they only just scraped into double figures.
Nine Swallows went south and Ian and I were talking about Swallows a few days ago saying that even up here in the north there is really only four months maximum that you don't expect to see Swallow these days, as you always have your first ones in March now as opposed to April when I was a lad!
Shortly after the Swallows I had a flock of high-flying Lapwings head west and a single Jay going south. There was a little Woodpigeon movement this morning and I had 21 heading high to the southwest. Other bits of vis included a single Snipe and Siskin south, and the morning was finished off by a Kestrel and Great Spotted Woodpecker close to the car at Curlew Wood.
Feeding frenzy - *When we were walking along Whitburn beach in Sunderland this afternoon I noticed a dense flock of about 150 black-headed gulls on the tid...
2 hours ago