Saturday, 3 March 2018

A shift in the temperature...


Noteworthy birds were minimal today, not helped by the poor visibility of course!

Harrington Airfield hosted two pairs of Grey Partridge and a Woodcock and another Woodcock was flushed in the Walgrave Bay at Pitsford Reservoir. A Blackcap again visited Jacob's garden at Scaldwell today.

Still plenty of Fieldfares in our garden today, eating the food almost as fast as I'm putting it out, but with a shift in the weather and temperatures overnight it will be interesting to see how long they will stay. I suspect many will disappear to forage for worms as soon as they espy fields without snow.

Like many of us, Dave Francis has been supplying his garden birds with plenty of food and fruit and his Fieldfares have been responsible for finishing off the fruit from an ornamental crab apple. Ringing operations are limited in severe weather and there are strict guidelines to ensure that particularly tired or starving birds are not targeted by ringers (when of course they are easier to catch). Dave has been assessing the health of the birds visiting his garden and opened a forty foot mist net for a short duration today, catching six Fieldfares, three Blackbirds, four Siskins, twelve Goldfinches, a Pied Wagtail and a few other common species. Interestingly a couple of these birds were re-traps from previous sessions a short time ago and they were heavier (and carrying more fat reserves) on this occasion, so clearly their feeding regimes have been successful in this cold spell. A Brambling has attached itself to a small flock of Chaffinches visiting his garden.

Two days ago there was a third hand report of three Short-eared Owls in a field near Weston (South Northants) - I just hope they have made it through as these conditions are very difficult for all the owl species.

Rather than adding yet more Fieldfare images to the blog, I've added some more bird images of a trip to Uganda in January - may you feel the warmth of the air in which they reside!


Neil M

The beautiful Marabou Stork!

Pink-backed Pelican.

Black and White Casqued Hornbills.

Pied Kingfishers.

Shoebill Stork.

African Jacana.

Long-toed Plover.

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