Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Better Late Than Never Perhaps

I set up my farmland bird feeding station on the Moss this morning, which is a month later than usual. I have attempted to set it up a few times but there has been lots of farming activity in the vicinity of my feeding station that has prevented me from doing this. The cropping pattern of the farm has changed over the past two years with less cereals grown and more maize and grass. It will be interesting to see if it has had an effect on farmland bird numbers and diversity and if it has, how much of an effect.

In fact today was probably the first time in ten years that I have visited the farm in November and not recorded a Tree Sparrow; we'll see if they come now I am feeding. I made the first seed drop and had a walk along the '97 Hedge'. Skylarks can be a feature of the moss feeding on the winter stubbles. This area because of the peaty soils still has spring cereals with winter stubbles if it is down to cereals rather than grass. I only had twelve Skylarks and I put up a small flock of five Snipe from the same stubbles. I would increase my Snipe total to 25 later when a flock of 20 flew over.

There were a number of Thrushes around including 62 Fieldfares, nine Blackbirds a Song Thrush and two Redwings. The Fieldfares were feeding on invertebrates in the sewage sludge that had been spread on part of the 'big field'.


The only raptor I had was a single Buzzard, unless you count Short-eared Owl as a raptor. I picked a 'shortie' up very high and coming in from the west. I watched it for some time as it circled round half closing its wings to lose height. That is until two Carrion Crows decided they would mob it so it gained height again and drifted east until out of sight.

 In-coming Short-eared Owl

Something was flushing the Lapwings and Pink-footed Geese from the top fields, but I don't know what it was; I had 210 and 75 of each respectively. Before long it was time to head home and do some work and all I added to my notebook was a Grey Wagtail as I drove off site.

I have some work north of the border in Scotland towards the end of the week for a couple of days, so it will probably be Saturday before I am back out on the patch.

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