Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Don't Think Too Hard!

As I walked down the track to my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss late this morning I counted only 34 Tree Sparrows. I was surprised and disappointed by this fact and I started to theorise on why the count was so low. Had I not been putting enough food out? Had they started to disperse to their nest sites? I mulled these theories over in my mind and then when I was walking back another 50 flew in. For whatever reason they just weren't there when I first got there and then started to arrive as I left; nothing more complicated than that, so it doesn't do to think too hard about these things.

 Tree Sparrow

What else did you have , I hear you ask? When I arrived at the barn where my food is kept I had a flock of 40 Redwings, and I think I have commented recently that there seems to be a return passage of wintering thrushes at the moment. These (click here) Redwings will have quite a return passage! I had a further 2 Redwings and a flock of 30 Fieldfares as well. 

As I walked down the track I had a flock of 30 Corn Buntings fly over calling away and then at the feeding station in addition to the Tree Sparrows I had 3 Yellowhammers, 5 Chaffinch and 2 Song Thrushes. I had a few minutes to spare so I headed up the '97 Hedge' and had a group of 6 Reed Buntings and a calling Buzzard. In the 'big field' were a dozen Skylarks and then it was time for me to head back. 

 Song Thrush

Back at my car I picked up a raptor with my naked eye flying over some stubble to the west of where I was. I got my bins on it and it was a female Merlin. She was climbing up and then diving down towards the stubble and flying fast and low over the stubble and then repeating the whole process. She did this 5 or 6 times that I saw and then gave up and flew towards Curlew Wood and perched on top of one of the trees. I assume that she was trying to flush avian prey from the stubble. Typically I didn't have my camera with me and this means that all the photos on my blog today are 're-cycled'. 



topshot photography said...

Sounds like you had a busy time,love the shots of the tree sparrow and the thrush.we had a large flock of feildfares on marton mere last monday.Along with approx 500 Teal,with a scattering of Pochards,shovelers and golden eye.


Robin Robinson said...

Love the Red-throated loon banner. We have lots of them here in the winter off our pier. I love to photograph them. Have you heard them call? They are amazingly diffrent from their Common Loon cousins that ululate across the water. I had the good fortune to see and photograph a Yellow-billed loon this fall here in Maine.

Fleetwood Birder said...

Hello Robin,

I see plenty of Red-throated Divers (Loons), but I have never heard them call.

Cheers, Seumus