Thursday, 19 November 2009

Wet And Windy

Another day and more wind and rain. As usual I had to feed my ravenous throng of Tree Sparrows and at lunchtime I nipped out to give them their two buckets of seed. Over the past couple of days a great deal of water has fallen from the skies! On the way to the farm I stopped to take a few pictures of the River Wyre as follows.

River Wyre - Town End, looking downstream

River Wyre at Cartford looking downstream

River Wyre at Cartford looking upstream

Once I got on to the Moss House I could see that the fields surrounding the feeding station were flooded again. As I walked out of the barn with my two buckets of seed I could see some white shapes in the distance towards the track and I thought to myself "Whoopers". I lifted my bins and there were 13 Whooper Swans feeding on a flood adjacent to the feeding station hedge. I drove a little further down the road and had another look at them. As I was stopped looking at the Whoopers a little juvenile male Sparrowhawk shot along the field and over the hedge just in front of me. Magic!

I pulled on to the track and I could see that the Whoopers were quite close so I took a few snaps with my camera. They're record shots at best, but you can tell that they're Whoopers. Can't you?

Looking west at the large field I could see that this was quite flooded also and then a couple of Buzzards battling their way left into the wind caught my attention. The rear bird was carrying what looked like a rat! I could see that it was a large mammal with it's tail hanging down. In the end carrying the rat got too much for the Buzzard and it dropped on to a stubble field to the west of the wet one. Unfortunately I couldn't see whether it started to eat the rat, or whether it was just having a rest. The other bird didn't stop, but carried on battling against the wind.

I set off down the track with my two buckets of seed and because of the windy conditions it was very difficult to count anything as everything was sticking close to the hedge. I estimated about 15-20 Chaffinch and 180 Tree Sparrows, but there could easily have been more than this.

As I approached the bottom of the hedge 30 Fieldfares were flying south low over the field. I imagine that they would have been feeding on invertebrates brought to the surface by flooding. Whatever they were doing it was nice to see them as they have been a bit scarce over here this autumn.

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