Monday, 6 February 2017

Starting To Sing

Over the past week or so on my travels one thing has been obvious and that has been bird song! A number of species are starting to sing including Dunnock, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Great Tit etc, etc, etc! It's great to hear, and makes you look forward to spring! But, there's still a good bit of winter to get through first and Feb can be a tough month.

It's been fairly quiet at my feeding station and the food I am putting out is lasting 5-6 days, which is unusual at this time of year. There hasn't been anything notable but counts of some species included 21 Magpies, two Buzzards and 15 Goldfinches.

There has been some Pink-footed Geese within the Obs recording area and peak counts have been 800, but sadly I haven't had anything else amongst them despite giving them a good grilling!

 Pink-footed Geese

I have been back to my winter bird survey site in Merseyside for an afternoon count and perhaps of interest recorded 114 Curlews, 26 Goldfinches, 279 Pink-footed Geese, a male Sparrowhawk, a Coal Tit, six Long-tailed Tits, 304 Jackdaws, a Jay, nine Stock Doves, two Buzzards, two Goldcrests, 21 Magpies, 36 Carrion Crows, eleven Blue Tits and 108 Black-headed Gulls.

At one section of the survey area I caught a flash of reddish-orange and saw a Red Squirrel running ahead of me. It climbed up into a Scots Pine tree and was at one stage upside down clinging to the underneath of a major bough! Sadly the sun was behind the tree and my pictures aren't good to say the least, but you can tell it's a Red Squirrel!

 Red squirrel (above & below)

At weekend I had a look at the southern part of the Obs recording area around the farm fields, and this was my first look at this bit of the Obs since Christmas. On my walk round I had a Long-tailed Tit, a singing Song Thrush, 14 Woodpigeons, a pair of displaying Kestrels close to their nest site, a male Sparrowhawk, 34 Herring Gulls and a Mistle Thrush.

The sea was quiet with just 18 Eiders, nine Cormorants, two Great Crested Grebes and two Red-throated Divers.

The weather isn't looking bad for the remainder of the week. I've got a site visit tomorrow and then I'm relatively free for the remainder of the week. Hang on, I've just remembered, it's Fleetwood Beer festival Thu - Sat, and I like to go on at least two days so birding could be intermittent!

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