Saturday, 10 December 2011

A Good Smattering of Farmland Birds

I am now in the cycle of going to my feeding station every other day to feed now and this morning I got the impression that there were a few more birds around, perhaps because of the colder weather further east and north. I had more time today, so after I had fed I had a walk round for about an hour and a half. Not that it will mean much to you, but I headed down the track to the feeding station along the '97 hedge' to the top fields, across the moss to the plantation and back down the lane to my car.

Rather than bore you with the details of exactly where I saw everything I thought I would just give you the raw totals of the more interesting birds that I had. This included 14 Blackbirds, 24 Yellowhammers (an excellent total for this time of year and a actually a good total for any time of year), 13 Reed Buntings, 177 Tree Sparrows, 355 Chaffinch (the highest total I have ever recorded at the site), 140 Skylarks, 2 Grey Partridge and 21 Corn Buntings. A good few red listed species there.


There were a few Pink-footed Geese around but only 307. All of these were mobile so I couldn't look through them for any White-fronts or Bean. Any that flew over me low enough I did look at to see if I could see any barring on their bellies, but I didn't.

Raptors were conspicuous with their absence and all I had was a single Buzzard and Kestrel. Continuing in the single species vein were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush. I had a walk through the L Wood in the hope of flushing a Woodcock or two, but I didn't have anything at all.

The forecast for the rest of the week is looking like more of the same with a succession of Atlantic depressions from the west bringing more windy weather. I'll try and make the best of it!


Captain Shagrat said...

355 chaffs really. I like seeing wildlife but counting...all of them, is it part of your job or just pleasure? I am a bit of a philistine, so sorry if I offend.

The Hairy Birder said...

No offence taken. It is both for pleasure and also recording the numbers of declining farmland birds for the BTO via Birdtrack and I also submit all my counts to the Lancashire bird recorder for publication in the annual report.

theconstantwalker said...

A wonderful post to read..and I love your Yellowhammer image.

The Hairy Birder said...

Thanks Andrew.