Monday, 8 December 2014

Distant Drum(lin)s

With an eye of the high mid-day tide I headed off for a spot of Aldcliffe birding late morning.
The most two most notable things today were the numbers of winter thrushes and finches and the presence of several hundred pink-footed geese in the fields.
For the first time in quite a while I was coming across actual flocks of chaffinches; starting with 20+ along the footpath from the Millenium Orchard up to the Admiralty Wood near Aldcliffe hamlet. There was a report of brambling from here yesterday on the FAUNA blog but I couldn't locate any today. I did notice that that were 3 linnet and a couple of greenfinch among the chaffinches and that they were feeding in the weedy areas of the arable field. An area well worth keeping an eye on over the winter.
All the way down Aldcliffe Hall Lane and along the cycle track and into Freeman's Wood there were yet more chaffinches, linnets and greenfinches in varying numbers. More notable still were the many blackbirds, along with smaller numbers of song thrush, redwing and fieldfare.

Pink-footed geese on the Aldcliffe drumlins
Up on the drumlins there were around 800 or so pink-footed geese but as I only had my bins with me a thorough scrutiny was out of the question. At that range, in good light, at least I could see that there was nothing as obvious as a barnacle goose lurking among the ranks, but the odd beans or even whitetfront would be tricky to say the least. If they stick around I may get chance to 'scope them tomorrow...

At Freeman's Pools it was business as usual with no new arrivals to excite a local patch birder.
Nearby 6 skylarks were buzzing around the maize fields while 4 grey partridge were feeding in an adjacent field. Another small covey of 4 partridge were also in fields up nearer the village.
Just a lone common snipe was at Snipe Bog and the dearth of rock pipits was in no way compensated by the single meadow pipit by The Channel.


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