I have been in the dark both literally and metaphorically speaking this week. In the middle of the week I was away on a few days training with work at Losehill Hall in the Peak District. Losehill Hall is the National Park Centre for the Peak District and England, and unfortunately it will close soon because of cuts. That's the problem when you have Conservative w*nkers in government! Incidentally we were the last residential group to stay there so it was quite sad.
On Monday before I headed to the High Peak I called at Rawcliffe Moss to feed. It was nice to see that the Tree Sparrows had increased to 210 accompanied by 25 Chaffinch and 6 Yellowhammers. On the way off the moss the resident Little Owl was in residence opposite the small barn.
I called again on Thursday morning in the dark after I had got back from Derbyshire and put some food out. I could hear Redwings going over and the Tree Sparrows called pre-dawn from their Hawthorn hedgerow roost.
This afternoon I had a couple of hours to spare so I decided to have a walk round the Moss and feed again. As I type this it is snowing so all the food will be covered so I will have to go first thing in the morning and clear the snow and put more food out.
I headed off down the track and I had 9 Fieldfares fly from Curlew Wood followed by 20 Starlings. Blackbirds flew down the hedge and there seemed to be about 9 and I had a further 5 on my walk round. I had a single Reed Bunting at the feeding station with a further 7 in the 'top field' wild bird seed mix.
Tree Sparrow numbers have remained constant over the past few days and there were 200 at the feeding station along with only a couple of Yellowhammers. Four Redwings were also in the hedge and a Great Spotted Woodpecker lifted off one of the peanut feeders. The pictures below of the Blue Tit were taken at the feeding station.
As I headed up the '97' hedge I had a group of 15 Corn Buntings and then I had a further 9 on the top fields. A few Song Thrush moved along the 97 hedge and in all I had 7. I was interested to see if there were still Chaffinch feeding in the wild bird seed crop and there were; I counted over 150 with 11 Linnets mixed in.
I then headed towards the plantation, calling first in the L Wood, but all I had in the L Wood were a further 6 Redwings. Before I got to the plantation a Peregrine headed north. It was fairly quiet in the plantation other than a few more Chaffinch, 10 Goldfinch , 8 Long-tailed Tits and a Lesser Redpoll.
In the field to the north of the plantation I had 3 Roe Deer and walking back towards the car I had 2 in the 'potatoe fields'. Other than 5 Meadow Pipits I didn't record anything else of note for the remainder of my walk.
Nightjar survival against the odds - with the run of days of terrible weather since this Nightjar nest started it is heartening to see that the one chick has just about fledged -- hope it now ...
3 hours ago