Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Fat Bird of the Barley and Other Buntings

I called at my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss just after lunch and it was a glorious sunny and 'crunchy' afternoon. I headed down to the feeding station loaded up with all my buckets and containers of food. There were plenty of Tree Sparrows with 213 counted and they were associating with about 20 Chaffinch and 13 Yellowhammers. Often in January the numbers of Yellowhammers increase at the feeding station, presumably as any natural food disappears.

There were also good numbers of Reed Buntings about as I counted 30 as I walked along the '97' hedge. Up on the top fields 73 Jackdaws fed with Carrion Crows, Rooks and Starlings. They kept getting up and I couldn't see a raptor so I assumed they were spooking themselves.

 Reed Bunting

In the wild bird seed crop there were good numbers of finches and buntings, and I had 195 Chaffinch, 40 Corn Buntings, 64 Skylarks (I know they're not a finch or a bunting!), 25 Goldfinch and 80 Linnets. It was great to see such good numbers of our declining farmland birds.

 Corn Bunting

On my walk back to the car all I added were 4 Snipe and a single Buzzard. The wind is forecast to pick up tonight and bring some rain in, so no birding for me in the morning then.

We received details of a couple of recoveries from the BTO and there was an interesting one of a male Blackbird that Craig ringed at Rossall School on 16th March 2010 that was 'controlled' at the Calf of Man Bird Observatory on 7th November 2011 (see google earth image below). I can only speculate as to what this information shows us. It is possible that when we caught it in March 2010 it was on its way back to it's breeding grounds in Europe and then when it was caught on the Calf of Man in November 2011 it could have been wintering in that area, or even on its way to winter Ireland. Who knows, but it is very interesting.


Andrew said...

A lovely post to read..
You have some woderful birds on your patch.

Fleetwood Birder said...

Thanks Andrew.