Saturday, 22 December 2018

Here's A Blog Post For Ya!

Yesterday on the Solstice I had a bird survey to do fairly close to home. I was a little concerned about the weather as it forecast light rain throughout the morning, but I took the chance that it would be light enough for me to complete my survey without any issues. Sure enough at first light, not very early at this time of the year, I had full cloud cover, the forecast light rain and a light easterly breeze.

To the north of my vantage point I could see flock after flock, though not large flocks, of Pink-footed Geese heading east from their overnight roost on the river. In total I had 972 head east with some of them treating me to an overhead flypast. I can't think of a more evocative call than that of the 'Pinkie' and other wild geese, as their call immediately brings to mind the wild places that they inhabit.

Pink-footed Geese

I've had some decent counts of Lapwings from this site, although the Lapwings haven't been using the site, when local birds have been flushed from their feeding areas. A couple of flocks have numbered over a thousand birds, but today it was a mere three hundred. 

 A handful of Lapwings 

One of the seasonal cards we received from a good friend in York had a picture of Long-tailed Tits on the front as it is her favourite bird, and I must admit I never tire of watching them. A favourite nature writer of mine, Jim Crumley, in his book 'A High and Lonely Place' said about Long-tailed Tits..."the place bristled with Robin song, although it was only January, and flocks of Long-tailed Tits rolled through the twiggy crowns of fieldside trees like squeaky airborne puffballs. There is no aerobatic feat beyond them, no pose too precarious, no impossible demands of landing and take-off". Marvellous! Oh, and I had nine of these squeaky airborne puffballs this morning!

 A squeaky airborne puffball!

Round here winter Thrushes are a bit thin on the ground at the moment, so it was nice to record a Redwing, and as always it was a delight to encounter three Song Thrushes. Anecdotally, and without looking up figures from the BTO, I think Song Thrushes are having a slow up-turn in fortune. The same can't be said for their larger cousin the Mistle Thrush, of which I only had one this morning, that has disappeared from a number of sites I used to regularly record them at. 

Other bits and pieces that I had were 24 Chaffinches, a Greenfinch, a Reed Bunting, a Grey Wagtail, 43 Goldfinches, a Jay and thirteen Meadow Pipits

It's going to be very wet tomorrow morning, so it will be next week before I am out again. High pressure is nudging in on the 24th and it looks set fair for the week. At last!


Unknown said...

Finally confirmed Long Tailed Tit sightings in Fleetwood Memorial Park. Have you any idea how long they've been in Fleetwood? Good to see far more diversity in the park these days.

The Hairy Birder said...

That's great Gary, they're cracking birds! They've been around in Fleetwood for some time, or certainly around the outskirts such as down Burglar's Alley for example. You can find them in Broadwater Wood, and I've also come across them in the trees adjacent to the Water Treatment Works down Jameson Rd.