Monday, 25 February 2013

From Rawcliffe to Ouzel Moss

I was co-leading a field trip for some university students this afternoon in Bowland looking at habitat management on an upland farm. On the way there I called in at my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss and carried out a quick 'splash and dash'. All I had during my very brief visit were 45 Tree Sparrows, two Yellowhammers, five Chaffinch and a Buzzard.

As I left the moss and headed towards Bowland I came across a nice flock of Chaffinch numbering 4-500 as an absolute minimum. Unfortunately I was dashing and didn't have time to look through them. I think inevitably there would have been a number of Barmblings amongst them.

Up in Bowland on our walk birds were thin on the ground other than 25 Lapwings, a male Kestrel, 15 Snipe and ten Fieldfares. On this particular farm was an area of fen habitat called Ouzel Moss and it got me thinking that it wouldn't be long before the first Ring Ouzels arrive!

Below are a couple of views from the office today.


Pete Woodruff said...

Never seen anything like this number of Chaffinch in my life Seamus, birding or non-birding.

How long ago since you did....if ever?



Warren Baker said...

Not a building, person or dog in sight - Bliss!!

The Hairy Birder said...

It's been a while Pete since seeing these sort of numbers. When we used to catch and ring Chaffinch at a couple of winter roost sites in the 1980s we would have over a thousand birds coming in to roost during some winters. Coincidently these used to be during 'Brambling' winters of which I feel we're having one at the moment. The other factor that I think has come in to play this winter is the amount of 'spoiled'crops around this year due to the wet summer. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few other 'monster' Chaffinch flocks around at the moment, but they are likely to be on large arable farms where they will probably remain undetected.

It was bliss Warren, especially the lack of man's but not birder's best friend!