Sunday, 15 February 2015

Upper Wardington: fieldfares and tree sparrows

Saturday 14 February
Fieldfares have discovered rich pickings in a couple of fields next to the village where muck spreading is in progress.  Parking up on the verge enables me to get some good views of the flock dotted across the pasture. After a couple of minutes something spooks them and they flock up into the tall ash trees.  I return a little later and find them drinking from roadside puddles, a big flock of starlings has now joined them but as far as I can tell no redwings.
Not a very good photo but you can see the habitat created by the muck spreading: thrush heaven!!
A flock of about forty lapwings are scouting around fields at Thenford.
Again, not the greatest of photos, but captures most of the flock
I'm wondering if any of them are the local birds returning with thoughts of breeding soon? This is one of the very few patches of farmland still suitable for them to nest in. It will be interesting to see if/when they start to establish territories here: the farmland looks suitable and I hope three or four pairs may settle to breed in March and April.

Sunday 15 February
A tree sparrow on the garden feeders is the first for quite a few weeks. March and April are the months they most often visit the garden, sometimes a dozen or so. There seem to be fewer around the village at the moment and I'm not optimistic we'll see such numbers again this year - hope I'm proved wrong.

In the afternoon I had a bit of time to look for willow tits again, but the only site that proved positive was Glyn Davies Wood, the BOS nature reserve threatened with major damage as it lies bang on the HS2 route.  A willow tit was trapped by ringers over the winter, but marsh tits are more numerous at this site.  The wood was alive with small birds: noisy nuthatches the most prominent.  A good place to look for all our lowland tit species in one site.

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