I called at my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss to feed the ravenous hordes of Tree Sparrows this afternoon. As I collected a bucket of seed from the barn three Whooper Swans flew past closely followed by a Kestrel. That's a nice start I thought. It was a pleasant afternoon and I was looking forward to a walk round.
On to the track to put the food down and I had 8 Blackbirds in the hedge but no other Thrushes. The Blackbirds were feeding on the Hawthorn berries, but I have put quite a lot of soft fruit down so as soon as the berries go there will be other food for them.
Straight away I could see that the numbers of Tree Sparrows and Chaffinch had increased. A count/guestimate as I walked down the track revealed 207 Tree Sparrows and 25 Chaffinch. Also at the feeding station were 3 Yellowhammers. Normally I don't get them feeding at the feeding station until after Christmas, but they are often present along the hedge hanging round one of the Pheasant feeders.
As I turned to head up the 97 hedge I had a Peregrine go over carrying prey and as I got to the 'top' fields 8 Skylarks got off the stubble and I flushed a single Corn Bunting. I was going to head up to the plantation but I could see that Phillip (the farmer) and his lads were working up there. They were fencing the west side of the plantation off so they could put some sheep in the field next to it and prevent them from straying into the plantation.
I then headed south along the track and back towards my car. Not much along here other than a party of 17 Lapwings going over and 8 Long-tailed Tits near Curlew Wood. On the receding floods 35 Black-headed Gulls fed alongside 4 Common Gulls. Aren't Common Gulls cracking birds?
On my way home I stopped off at Town End to have a look on the river, hoping for a few Whoopers on the grazing marsh or a Goosander on the river, but all I had were four Mute Swans and nineteen Canada Geese.
I'm not sure what to do tomorrow as there is a morning tide but the wind direction and strength, strong SSE, is all wrong for a sea watch. I suppose I'll set my alarm and have a look.
SHETLAND HOLIDAY, Day Ten! - *TOUR WITH ORIOLE BIRDING* *LAST DAY ON UNST!* The bar with free WiFi we found on the Saxa Vord complex, was closed last night we discovered, so not able ...
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