Friday, 8 November 2013

Marvelous Montanus

Tree sparrow
I finally caught up with some tree sparrows on the patch this morning. 
There were 9 in the hedge dissecting the stubble fields. Unfortunately they were a bit too flighty for me to get a decent pic, so I've cheated and used a previously taken shot I got of one earlier in the year.
Feeding nearby were a mixture of other birds including around 40
chaffinch, 6 reed bunting and a couple of greenfinch.
Also present were at least 14 mobile skylark. It was lovely to have the calls of these increasingly scarce birds constantly ringing out over the fields.
There was also a trio of stock dove nearby. It almost felt like proper farmland birding! I just need to find an errant yellowhammer, or something even better...  

Golden plover, lapwing and dunlin
On the river there were approx. 700 golden plover, 2,400 lapwing and c100 dunlin in the Gull Bank area, along with the usual curlew, redshank, etc. While out on the marsh the usual geese, mute swans and little egrets were doing what they do.

Freeman's Pools were again quietish, as were all the other ponds. The 5 gadwall -in-residence were about the only things of note. 
A female sparrowhawk was doing the rounds.

Thrush numbers seem to building slowly with a notable increase in blackbirds along the cycle track, along with a few song and mistle thrushes. Still no off-passage redwing or fieldfare around Aldcliffe though. There is so much food available in the hedgerows this year, I guess they have no need to range as far and wide as in some years. I'm sure they'll be along soon. 


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