The weather is still appalling up here and I still haven't really been out birding other than to top up my feeding station. I know I should just quit moaning and get out there, but because of the weather I haven't had the enthusiasm! Things have been ticking over nicely at the feeding station with about 130 Tree Sparrows, 15 Chaffinches, six Yellowhammers, a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and two Grey Partridges being regular visitors. On the way home today in the rain/sleet/snow I called in at the flood and there was a single Green Sandpiper and nothing else.
As I pulled up outside my house, when I got back, to reverse into my drive a Gull dropped to the pavement to pick up a food item and to my pleasant surprise it was an adult Med. Gull! I did have an adult Med.Gull winter round my area last winter and I saw it change into full summer plumage. Hopefully it is the same bird and it will do the same as last year.
I ran a workshop earlier in the week near Penrith in north Cumbria on behalf of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) on farmland bird identification. The aim was to hone farmers bird identification skills to help them take part in GWCT's 'Big Farmland Bird Count' in February. Although the intensification of agriculture is to blame for the decline in farmland bird populations, this count gives farmers the opportunity to deliver messages about the good work that is undoubtedly done by some farmers on their farms to encourage birds. All the farmers that came along to the workshop were very positive and interested in birds, and it was good to see.
The weather is going colder and calming down a bit over the next few days so some birding for me is definitely in order and I can't wait to get out there!
20th and 21st November - A marvellously calm day on the 20th with a light but cold NE breeze allowing us to get some decent counts in; wildfowl included 482 Wigeon, 21 Gadwall, 13...
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