Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Hen Harrier For Lunch

What a horrible gloomy grey day it's been today. I had a few site visits to do that I was hoping to combine with some birding, but I didn't bother because of the weather. Far better and more productive round the farmhouse kitchen table!

I ate my lunch in the car at the end of the track down to my feeding station. I could see that something had put all the Corvids up and then the female Hen Harrier sailed past my windscreen! I suspect she was heading down to the feeding station to see if she could pick something up for lunch!

At the feeding station were 158 Tree Sparrows and 7 Yellowhammers. I didn't fancy having a walk across the moss afterwards, so I headed into the hills for a bit more grey gloom!


abbey meadows said...

I think it was 1973 the last time I saw that many Tree Sparrows!

Marc Heath said...

158 Tree Sparrows!!!!! I wouldn't mind just one at Reculver.

Fleetwood Birder said...

Up here in Lancashire they still occur in quite decent numbers but are localised. Mind you, there's probably more than a few species that you see in Kent Marc that would give me a good 'gripping'!

Mallimak said...

How many of the Tree Sparrows are ringed?

Fleetwood Birder said...

When we first started at the site in 2003 the totals were better in the early years. Tree Sparrows are quite smart and soon get to know when there are mist nets out. The number of birds visiting the feeding station isn't any less but our totals are, so that's the only conclusion we can draw. Toatls for each year below:

2003 - 7
2004 - 107
2005 - 93
2006 - 94
2007 - 132
2008 - 76
2009 - 40
2010 - 35
2011 - 54

It is a very open site so the weather can play a part and if we have a particularly windy period it greatly reduces the number of visits we make.