Saturday, 12 December 2009

Fog...What F*cking Fog

Please see below a series of pictures taken this morning on Rawcliffe Moss in the dense freezing fog that was forecast by every weather forecaster known to man last night!

I was looking forward to a ringing session this morning at the feeding station but when I checked the forecasts last night I couldn't believe it; dense freezing fog not clearing until late morning. I checked forecast after forecast and they all said the same. No point even going birding I thought. The only consolation is that I would get a lie in.

When I rolled out of my pit at 08:00 and looked out of the window I couldn't believe it. Clear as a bell and flat calm! I swore quite a bit as I munched through my breakfast and vowed never to believe a weather forecast again! I needed to go an feed the Tree Sparrows so I set off for Rawcliffe Moss.

As you can see from the above pictures it was a glorious morning and a missed ringing opportunity, although I am aiming to try again tomorrow. As I set off down the track a number of Fieldfares were flying from Curlew Wood to the hedge to feed and they looked fantastic in the crystal clear light. About 50 or 60 were commuting to and from the wood and in total on my walk round I had 103. Whilst on the subject of Thrushes I also had two Redwings, 20 Blackbirds and three Song Thrushes.

Tree Sparrows were in similar numbers to recent days and I had 228 accompanied by 34 Chaffinch. I heard Grey Partridge calling from the track and two birds flushed but the other bird it was with was a Red-legged. Compared with recent weeks I had quite a reasonable count of Grey Partridge and I had twelve in total on my walk round. A Great Spotted Woodpecker called from Curlew Wood and a Kestrel, my only raptor of the morning, flew in front of the wood.

I then headed north towards the plantation and in the 'top' fields 500 Starlings fed. Also in this field I had a small flock of eight Corn Buntings feeding in stubble and I had a further thirty Corn Buntings on the western edge of the farm back at the car.

Nine Linnets were in the stubble field near the badger set and also sixteen Snipe flushed from here as I walked past. Just before the plantation eleven Meadow Pipits were feeding around a ring feeder in the corner of the field and the flock of ten Goldfinch were feeding on Alder catkins in the plantation.

A few Reed Buntings were dotted around here and there and I had six in total. Four Roe Deer nervously watched me head south back along the track to the car and the morning was finished off by a calling Siskin going over. I'll let you know how we get on tomorrow, weather permitting!

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