Wednesday, 2 February 2011

More Yellow Bunts

I was a long way from Fleetwood today, in fact I was wandering round an arable farm near Bickerstaffe, Merseyside that I put into Countryside Stewardship a good few years ago now. I was having a walk round in preparation for a walk I am leading there in a few weeks time. So I wanted to work out a route and think about some of the habitat work that has been done to talk about.

It was pleasing to see that there was a good selection of farmland birds to be had even though it was a pretty awful morning weather wise. I had four coveys of Grey Partridge; 4, 9, 2 and 5. In fact the last 5 were leking in a rough field corner. Rough field corners are excellent for wildlife and I am always asking farmers not to be too tidy!

I have noticed over this past week that there have been a few more winter Thrushes around. Whether this is weather displaced birds returning I am not sure. I was out walking in the Silverdale area last Sunday and had 30 Redwings, and today I had 16 Fieldfares and 5 Redwings feeding in a small paddock.

 Redwing

Walking along a track I had a flock of 7 or 8 Corn Buntings fly over and then further on I had a further 21 perched up on some telegraph wires. As I approached a hedge alongside some stubble turnips I had a nice flock of Yellowhammers and in total I counted 72 birds, which is one of the largest flocks of Yellow Bunts I have had for some time.

 Corn Bunting

Walking back to the yard I had a couple of Skylarks, 2 Reed Buntings, 30 Pink-footed Geese and a Buzzard; so it wasn't a bad selection of farmland birds for a dreary Wednesday morning!

Reed Bunting

4 comments:

abbey meadows said...

Its a few years now since I used to ring birds but there are some fine pics of the type of birds I used to love seeing in the hand, Buntings in particular. I was delighted to come across 65 Yellowhammers yesterday on stubble but still low numbers compared to a few years ago but Corn Buntings are resticted to just one or two sites in the county with just singles recorded. I used to see flocks of 70+ at harvesting time. Great blog.

Fleetwood Birder said...

Thanks AM. I quite agree, Buntings are cracking birds in the hand. Corn Buntings are hanging on in Lancashire, but even though you can still find reasonably sized flocks, they are nothing compered to the flocks we used to get 30 years ago. It's the same all over I suppose.

Cheers,

Seumus

Kelly said...

I love the carmel colors in the plumage of the corn bunting...beautiful, and the pattern is interesting too.

Fleetwood Birder said...

I love the colours too Kelly. They're one of those birds that in the field are fairly non-descript, yet in the hand they are gorgeous!