Monday, 7 January 2013

Saturday and Sunday 5th and 6th January

Whitefronts with Greylags (c) Badger

Goldcrest (c) Mike Kosniowski

Green Woodpecker (c) Mike Kosniowski

Ringtailed Harrier (c) Mike Kosniowski

Male Harrier (c) Terry Sherlock

Still very wet (c) Bark

Male Harrier (c) Bark

The moor had the very best of its winter birding on display this weekend. At different times on both days: Bittern, two different Hen Harriers (male and female), Merlin, Bearded Tits and Peregrine were all seen. As a bonus there were eleven Whitefronted Geese hanging out with the Greylag flock, but I believe that they left late on Sunday morning. They could be seen well on Sunday feeding and dozing out in the middle of Greenaways. All of these birds could be seen between regular swirling flocks totalling at least two thousand Lapwings and fifteen hundred Golden plover. These birds that were loafing out on the northern side of Greenaways were very flighty and flushed at the slightest hint of a raptor. In the same area were significant numbers of wildfowl. We counted sixty Pintail and and similar number of Shoveler. The Wigeon and Teal were very difficult to estimate but seemed much more numerous than at any time this winter. There were also three or four hundred Teal out in the middle of the Reedbed. Ninety Gadwall and fifty Tufted Ducks were on the northern lagoon in front of the second screen.
Bird of the weekend must be the male Hen Harrier that has been with us for a couple of weeks. It gave superb views on Sunday as it hunted over Ashgrave and the Closes before being hustled off by a Crow.
Bullfinches and Reed Buntings were in most hedgerows and the corner of the track turning towards the second screen was good for Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs.
There are still,several of the commoner species that have yet to make it onto the yearlist including Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Treecreeper. So there is lots to look for and at this time of year masses to enjoy.

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