Sunday, 9 March 2008

Birds on the move?

Unfortunately at the moment most of my birding is being done in the garden or from my car window, with only a little walking possible. I hope soon to have a date when I will get a swap for the defunct knee joint in my left leg for a new bionic one, my x-rays were sufficiently impressive to get me on the urgent list.

I have lamented the lack of winter thrushes in the area this winter, so I was pleasantly surprised when I came a cross quite a large flock, 200+, in a field between St Margaret's and Guston. A part of it is in the photo above, whereas, in true Blue Peter fashion, below is one I took earlier.

I'm pretty sure that flock of this size must have been of birds that have arrived in the area very recently as I have been checking the likely areas on a daily basis with no success.

There have been a few Corn Buntings showing occasionally along Reach Road, but I was surprised to find a flock with a minimum of 39 birds to day. Although the Corn Bunting is usually considered a resident bird it is clear from the literature that there is quite a lot of movement. Most ringing recoveries show only local movements although birds ringed in Kent in February, have been recovered in Pas de Calais in May. Of course they're not affected by the fact that Sea France is normally on strike!

One of my favourites in the garden, at this time of year, it the rather handsome cock House Sparrows. The have now started to loudly claim their territories and I hope that this year they will use a few more of the next boxes that I've provided for them. It's getting late for putting up new boxes, but probably not too late if you do it quickly. Wooden nest boxes are quite easy to put together and bird aren't top worried if they are not wonderfully aesthetic, so you can use old bits of wood. There's a good site with instructions of how to make them on the Wildlife Trusts Website, click here for the instructions.

Only one moth last night, a Small Quaker. One thing I did find out today was that Herring Gulls like baked beans, sufficiently enough to land on my lawn to eat then. Carrion Crows were also impressed but Starlings gave them a miss.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,
I haven't tried feeding the birds beans but I have discovered that rooks, jackdaws and magpies like mashed potato. Nothing else will touch it but the corvids always find it in the end, even if its a couple of days old. They don't seem to mind that I put a lot of black pepper in it either.
Really struggling for moths here so far this year but I've recently gained permission from the farmer to trap around 60 foot at Porthgwarra so maybe I'll get some new stuff there.
All the best,
John Foster