It was the usual late morning visit to Rawcliffe Moss to feed for me today. As I got out of the car a Kestrel was hovering over the 'Reed Bunting' ditch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker called from Curlew Wood.
The Yellowhammers were still lurking around the Pheasant feeder and today they numbered twenty. Just as I set off walking down the track a flock of twenty Corn Buntings circled round and then headed north over Curlew Wood. At this time of year the numbers of Corn Buntings start to build up on the Moss and I love it when they start singing, even when flocked together.
Tree Sparrows numbered 156 at the feeding station with sixteen Chaffinch associated with them. As I was putting the seed down a flock of 35 Linnets flew over heading towards the weedy field to the north of Curlew Wood. Back at the car I was greeted by a calling Buzzard as it drifted over and two Song Thrush flew from the hedge as I drove back to the barn.
At about 4:30 p.m. my mobile went off and I could see it was Ian calling. As Ian is a prolific finder of scarce and rare birds I thought "what has he found now" and "will I have time to see it as its nearly dark"! Instead of news of a rare bird he asked me what time I would be home from work. I asked him why, and he said that he had a Woodcock in a box in his dining room and he was interested in ringing it. Ian is one of my trainee ringers and of course he was keen to ring the said Woodcock.
Ian had come home late afternoon to put his chickens back inside their coop and as soon as he went outside he could see that they were behaving peculiarly and were hiding behind the coop. When he went over to investigate they were all looking at a Woodcock that had got a wing caught in the chicken wire and was suspended above them!
Ian released the Woodcock and examined it carefully and it was absolutely fine with no injuries. I called at Ian's a little while later and Ian then ringed it. It was an adult bird and what a stunner it was as you can see from the pictures above. We took the bird to Fleetwood Golf Course where there is plenty of cover and foraging habitat and the bird flew off perfectly!
In Memory Of My Dearest Father - *PETER CLARKE* Ornithologist, Naturalist, Photographer, Author, Founder and first Warden of Holme Bird Observatory and NOA Dearly loved husband of Margaret...
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