Sunday, 1 February 2009

Tetrad Visit

Today I did my late winter tetrad visit. What a difference a few months have made to this patch. No sign of the huge flocks of jackdaws and rooks. In their place are mixed flocks of redwing, fieldfare and starling. The flock numbered about one hundred and was mostly redwing.
Later on another mixed flock - this time lapwing, starlings and gulls (mostly black-headed although I did spot a common gull and greater black-backed amongst them). What a joy to see the broad black and white wings of a hundred plover taking off then re-settling nearby.

The paths through the fields are still muddy but I did get through - it was a case of set off and keep going - whatever! But the sightings were worth it. I also saw a brown hare. It laid low for a while but since it was next to the stile I had to cross I soon saw it running through the hedge and across the next field.

Photo of lapwings by Mike Atkinson. Photo of brown hare by Nigel Fairclough - see their links in the side bar.


Crafty Green Poet said...

oh its always so wonderful to see lapwings, I love their butterfly-ing flight.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I did the tetrad counts for the BTO last year Carol - and found it so satisfying. As you say - you really look for the birds. We also find that the flocks are now mostly redwing rather than fieldfare - wonder why. This morning we had nine long tailed tits on the fat balls, which was a joy to behold. Very bad weather forecast = us first, then you - so batten down the hatches.

Pat Posner said...

I've not seen a lapwing for years; I think baby lapwings are one of the cutest baby birds.

We've got loads of magpies, crows and jackdaws here, umpteen pigeons, and a dozen or so regular starlings. We cut up 2 loaves every morning and afternoon for them, I think that's why they let the chaffies, dunnocks, tits, wren, blackbirds and robin eat their food in peace. Though hubby made a 'cage' like a guinea pig run for the small birds so they all hop in there to eat.
At night we move the cage and put extra fat balls out for the badgers.

Anonymous said...

The wind blew in from Russian Steppes,
The feeble hearted stayed in bed,
and all God's creatures cowered low,
to shelter from the icy blast,
Except, that is, the Mistle Thrush,
which sang against the gale.


Mistlethrush said...

CGP - I agree they have a very distinctive flight - one that distracts me when I'm driving. Whoops! Looking forward to seeing them starting to display.

Weaver - Did you enjoy doing your tetrad? I find it's interesting to visit places in different seasons; sometimes the changes are immense.

Pat - Sounds like you have a very organised feeding regime there - the wildlife must really love you!

DM - Another post to make us smile! It was a bit cold but the energy involved in tramping through the mud helped keep my warm!

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.