Monday, 8 December 2014

Winter feed stations


Quite cold in the strong breeze today making it feel like a proper winter day. Several of the local farmers were using the conditions to slash field hedges today during pitiful examples of hedge management, but there were still plenty of winter thrushes along the Brampton Valley Way taking advantage of the berry-laden hawthorns that were not subject to such wanton habitat destruction.

I spent much of the morning visiting the winter wild bird feeding stations that we maintain, replenishing suspended feeders and broadcasting mixed seed. The Kelmarsh sites have plenty of tits and other woodland birds coming to them now, including Nuthatches, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and possibly Jays. We are again putting down mixed seed on the concrete track at Harrington Airfield, at the entrance to the complex off the minor road to Draughton. We are always grateful for visiting birders/photographers to broadcast safe seed at this location should they visit. So far it has been mostly common birds coming down such as Chaffinch and Yellowhammer, but as the season progresses more species are anticipated to join them.

Three feed stations are maintained at Pitsford Reservoir, including one at Christies Copse in the Walgrave Bay. Diane Freeman commits to most of the work at this location, visiting every couple of days to ensure the feeders still dispense the foodstuffs. Although a broad range of species utilise this feed station in a woodland setting, priority and targeted species such as Willow and Marsh Tit regularly visit to supplement their winter feeding. In due course it is hoped to construct a simple bench and wooden blind to provide permit holders the opportunity of watching birds at this feed station without causing any disturbance.

A Woodcock flushed up at Sunderland Wood (Kelmarsh Estate) this morning, but I didn't see anything else of note on my travels...


Neil M

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