Friday, 16 August 2013

Friday Flocks

Today was spent birding the easy way by watching a couple of large flocks of passerines as they moved through the bushes and hedgerows.
As I arrived at Harrington Airfield, in between showers, It was soon apparent that the bushes were alive ! I simply started at the main entrance and followed a large group of passerines as they "bush" hopped along the track.  There was a good mixture of species, ages and plumage.  I lost count how many Willow Warblers and Whitethroats were present, which suggested a "fall"  due to the weather conditions. A high proportion of the flock were Reed Buntings, Goldfinches, Greenfinch, Linnet and Blue Tit, but also notable were at least 8 Blackbirds.  Other birds of note in the flock were a Redstart and 2+ Lesser Whitethroat.
A "cream crown" Marsh Harrier was again west of the track, a Turtle Dove flying around, and a single Curlew passing over calling.
My second flock was this evening in the valley below Hanging Houghton. There is a particular hedge which we have discovered over the years is attractive to birds on the move. Well I could hear them long before I could see them !!! Long Tailed Tits which were leading the way along the hedge.  This flock was very different to the Harrington flock and consisted of mainly Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits, but there were also good numbers of Whitethroat and Willow Warbler. This bird flock was well in excess of 60 individuals and as I watched they just kept coming and coming !!  And you just never know what might be mixed in and tonight there was a Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler and 2 Whinchat.

Regards  Eleanor
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