Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Travelling Light...

...or should I say that's my excuse for not taking my camera with me when I went to feed at my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss this afternoon. There were a large number of Jackdaws feeding in the field on the neighbouring farm and they totalled at least 600. One hundred of these were also spilling over on to 'my patch' to feed as well.

As I approached the feeding station a number of Woodpigeons were feeding on the seed that I put out, the little b*ggers, along with the 194 Tree Sparrows. There were 4 Yellowhammers at the feeding station as well, along with 27 Chaffinch.


As I headed north along the '97' hedge Starlings were flying in from the east to feed and I had 224 in total. A flock of 20 Redwings went over and I had a single Fieldfare. A couple of Song Thrush were in the hedge and I pushed up to 5 Reed Buntings towards the Badger set.


I had a walk round the wild bird seed plot and it was devoid of finches, but 27 Skylarks were feeding in it. I headed up towards the plantation but had to stop short as I noticed 2,000 Pink-footed Geese feeding in the stubble field opposite the plantation. There was no way I could walk to the plantation without flushing them so I cut my walk short and turned round and headed back. Just as I was walking away from the 'Pinkies' two Whooper Swans flew in to join them.

Back at the car I could see 15 Corn Buntings perched in a Willow along the 'Reed Bunt ditch'. A pleasant end to a pleasant walk.

 Corn Bunting

I see the local bird club, of which I am a member incidentally, has announced the winner of its 'who has the most time available to twitch at the drop of a hat any scarce birds that turn up' Yearlist Challenge 2010. The winner recorded 199 species in the recording area which is actually a few species less than the total for the year for the Fleetwood area!

I note that the rules state "to ensure all entrants have an equally fair chance to see rare and scarce species during the competition, please continue to send all relevant bird news to Rare Bird Alert (surprise, surprise!)...any suppressed birds cannot be included in yearlist totals". Why not just publish a list of all species recorded in the area during the year, let everyone count them, and declare everyone a winner! What if you find a scarce breeder, do you put the news out so you can count it in your list, or do you suppress (sorry for using the's' word) it to protect it. I know what some people would do! Aren't I glad that I do my own thing and don't get involved with such nonsense.  


Phil said...

A strange set of rules indeed

Fleetwood Birder said...

I quite agree Phil. Very bizarre!

Peter Fearon said...


Fleetwood Birder said...

I quite agree Peter!

Robin Robinson said...

Would you kindly reveal to me how you are getting them in your hands for these exquisite shots? What have I missed along the way about your trapping/netting/mesmerizing techniques? I also love seeing the birds in your life which do not live here. It's fascinating and educational, thank you!

Robin Robinson said...

And, we get that same nonsense here in the US when it comes to reporting rare birds. Tell or not to tell. Truth be told, birders who see rarities ALWAYS tell someone they saw it. They have inner circles. It's the worst kind of old boy palism, classism amongst birders.
I think all birds should be reported. I do realize that there are people who will be pigs about seeing it, and compromising the bird's welfare and not respecting the property of others in the process. However, we are not the police. I think it stinks when birders think that they should or can dictate the morality of others, when they try to set the tone or standard of behavior. It smacks of a kind of elitism which I find more rampant among birders than those who will put a bird in jeopardy. Suppression is a form of oppression. Spoken like an American, I say screw that.

Fleetwood Birder said...

Hello Robin,

As well as being a birder I am a ringer for the British Trust for Ornithology and therefore catch the birds using mainly mist nets. I have done some ringing (banding) in North America at Long Point Bird Observatory in Canada so I am interested in your birds as well!