Sunday, 10 January 2010

Crystals of Ice

Croston Finney was crusted with beautiful ice formations sitting on top of the snow like a wonderful species of sparkly moss. Many of the waterways were frozen so gone were the ducks and cormorant and in their place - meadow pipits and pied wagtails. Really. They were all intently hunting on the ice.

The barn owl is still finding it difficult and once again I saw it still out hunting at 11am. The snipe must be finding it difficult to seek out unfrozen areas; I flushed two this morning - I've never seen them on The Finney before. The lapwing had abandoned feeding in flocks today and only a few were spotted - all singularly. The corn bunting however were still staying together; four alternating between wire and stubble. The crows, jackdaws and woodpigeon were much less numerous than last week. Other sightings included 2 yellow hammers, a buzzard, 2 wrens, stonechat, fieldfare, 3 song thrush, 1 mistle thrush and other garden birds.

Speaking of which, the allotment area was a riot of chirruping tree and house sparrows.
Thanks to Chris Rae for sending the above photo of a corn bunting (a Spanish one).

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Sparrows and Owls

A walk around Anglezarke (looking for brambling in Grey Heights Wood) did not bring many sightings - probably something to do with the weather.

Today's circular walk around Croston was much more rewarding. The highlights included finding a new location for tree sparrows (along with the two I already knew about) I hope they continue to increase as they have declined severly over recent years. It demonstrates how helpful humans can be be to wildlife - sometimes. I also saw a barn owl out hunting at 11.15am - obviously struggling with the weather. I hope it managed to find something.

Other pleasing sightings were 2 corn bunting on a wire, 7 yellowhammers, 3 red bunting, 1 skylark, 100 laughing jackdaws, 24 lapwings, c800 corvids (mainly crows), 1 buzzard, only 2 fieldfare, 1 mistle thrush, 1 song thrush, a fair few greenfinch, goldfinch and chaffinch, 1 wren, 2 cormorants perched on a high wire, 7 moorhen and other common garden birds.

I'm still working with my boots: flat walks ok but as soon as I start uphill the blisters begin....

from the field book

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