Monday, 14 March 2011

Late Afternoon On The Moss

Now that the days are getting longer it is possible to go birding before and after work. I must admit that I prefer before work even though it means an early start and a longer day, but the birding is so much better then. On my way home from work I called in at Rawcliffe Moss and had a walk round for a while. I took the usual route of down to the feeding station, up the '97 hedge', round the wild bird seed plot, along the track to the plantation and back to the car.

I can say that I didn't have any summer migrants but there were plenty of signs of Spring. Even the humble Shelduck is a sign of Spring when it is back inland looking for nest sites and today I had a small flock of five fly over. Displaying Lapwings were another sign and I had 5 displaying over the 'top fields' plus a further 4.

 Shelduck (Simon Hawtin)

With all this talk of Spring there was still some Winter hanging on. This included 81 Tree Sparrows at the feeding station with 15 Corn Buntings and 2 Yellowhammers close by. I had 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers this afternoon; I had one bird drumming from Tree Sparrow Wood, another calling from Curlew Wood and two at the feeding station.

 Great Spotted Woodpecker

As I headed north along the '97 hedge' 56 Woodpigeons flew out of Curlew Wood and 7 Stock Doves lifted off the 'Big Field'. Recently there has been 9 regularly feeding on the big field, but not today. I pushed 8 Reed buntings along the 97 hedge and a couple of Snipe lifted from the margin.

Snipe (Ken Hindmarch)

Only three Buzzards this afternoon and the wild bird seed mix only gave up 5 Chaffinch, 5 Skylarks and 2 Grey Partridge. I then headed along the track to the plantation and had a Stoat cross the track and run along the margin next to the ditch. It was quiet in the plantation other than a handful of Goldfinch and a calling Siskin. Heading back towards the car as dusk approached I had 90 high flying Black-headed Gulls heading south.

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