Monday, 19 December 2011

Saturday and Sunday 17th and 18th December

Searching for a pot of gold. (c) Pete Styles
Wren in the sun. (c) Peter Barker
Fieldfare in the carpark field (c) Peter Barker
Record shot of white fronted goose (c) Peter Barker
Redwing in carpark field (c) Peter Barker

A quiet weekend on the moor but not without a few highlights.
I met up with a few friends on Sunday afternoon, originally to see the starling roost, but as the starlings are not happening we still went, hoping to see the short-eared Owls hunting over Ashgrave. We were not disappointed they gave excellent views coming quite close floating low over the ground and occasionally catching prey or interacting with each other. We also had a short and heavy hail shower that produced a spectacular rainbow and was captured perfectly in a picture by Pete Styles of a Shorty in search of a pot of gold.
Elsewhere this weekend we found a White Fronted Goose in with the regular Grey Lag flock and it was present both days. Unusually a Goosander flew over on Saturday morning but at present conditions don’t favour it stopping. The Hen Harrier was seen as was the Merlin. With the onset of really cold weather the winter thrushes have abandoned the fields and are now feeding on berries. They are particularly noticeable in the car park field. Rain last week has started to fill up some of our empty scrapes and pools so by the new year we may be looking like a wetland again .

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