Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Roll On Spring

At this time of year it always feels like I am on a tread mill when out birding as it is often more of the same. Yesterday I had a bit of a change, although strictly I wasn't birding, but working, but managed a bit of birding! I was working on some farmland at Eagland Hill, digging soil pits and looking at soil profiles. Unfortunately I kept on flushing the 'Pinkies'; so if you were trying to watch them I apologise. I was trying my best not to, but they were very wary. I had to go into several fields to look at the soil and the fields I had to look at always seemed to be the ones with the Geese in!

 I apologise if this is the view you were getting of the 'Pinkies' at Eagland Hill 

As I walked round this particular farm I had a nice flock of 30 Skylarks feeding in some stubble and in a similar area were 4.000 Pink-footed Geese. I had a female Sparrowhawk 'quartering' the stubble a bit like a Harrier; gliding low with wings held in a 'v' configuration, presumably trying to flush small passerines from the stubble. Raptor number two was a Buzzard that was very reluctant to leave the area that I was walking across. As I walked along it would keep 20-30 metres in front of me, and when I had gone so far it doubled back to where it had come from. There was obviously some prey items in the area that I had missed.

 Sparrowhawk - female

Across from the yard is an area of flooded potato stubble and there were 140 Whooper Swans feeding in it. The farmer told me that he has been feeding them, so they will probably hang on there for a while. I only had a quick look through them with my bins and didn't pick up any Bewick's, but that's not to say there weren't any.

This morning I called at my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss and it was a much better morning and a pleasure to be out and about. A group of 20 Corn Buntings were perched up in the hedgerow adjacent to the 'Reed Bunt' ditch and one or two of them were giving their 'jangly' song. At the feeding station were 14 Chaffinch, 132 Tree Sparrows and 6 Yellowhammers.

This settled weather is going to remain with us for a while and last into weekend, so hopefully I'll get out both days. I'll let you know.

No comments: