On the 4th Jan, walking towards the orchard from the Long Pads, Hilary and I saw a bird struggling on the ice on Alder Pond ( the pond had been drained so there was a layer of ice over the mud). The bird took off carrying a smaller bird in its claws. A passer by said that it was a kestrel carrying a snipe but it looked too white to me ( without binoculars!!) and Dan thinks it was more likely to be a sparrow hawk. It had most probably caught a snip feeding nearby , dropped it onto the ice and retrieved it with difficulty hence the struggle. Very dramatic.
We met Chris Armstrong taking photos around Pony Wood and she sent me this one of the feeding table.
House Sparrow 87
Meadow Pipit 25
Reed Bunting 9
Jack Snipe 6
Song Thrush 5
Stock Dove 4
Mistle Thrush 2
Lesser Redpoll 2
Grey Wagtail 2
Pied Wagtail 2
Pink-footed Goose 75 overflying (S)
Ian saw a song thrush in Pony Wood this morning , and linnets of course.
Rachel Malloch reported “Common red polls feeding on the seed heads in Flora Field………seen at the top of the path past Pony Wood going north towards the view of the castle.
From Dan Heywood, listed on lancasterbirdwatching.org.uk/forums/topic/fairfield-nr-2 (Nov. 21st)
The reserve’s arable field near Pony Wood SD468606 this PM:
Reed Bunting 7
Stock Dove 5
Meadow Pipit 5
Mistle Thrush in song Pony Wood.
Plus From me:
Possibly 2 redwing in Flora Field. I’ve seen individuals around recently so they are still about – has any -one else seen them recently ?
Curlew in Big Meadow, Kestrel over Flora Field, Long-tailed tits in Pony wood
An adult fox has been seen in Aldcliffe Rd. gardens. And a number of chickens have disappeared!
Flora Field – a brown hare, a snipe and, spotted by Dan Heywood – overflying, a greater spotted woodpecker and grey wagtail.
Pony Wood – Dan saw 33 linnets in the big ash trees, feeding in the bird food margin. This is a record for this area so far this year.
Mandy Bannon sent this message by email:
Mike took this photograph of a writhing bundle of big orange caterpillars – yesterday ( July 11th) on Pony Wood – Aldcliffe Rd path. It was about 5 yards down from the bend where the bench is (on Flora field side of the path). If you zoom in, you’ll see above the caterpillar masse is a fine cobwebby structure that they appeared to be leaving.
Do you know what they might be?
Whilst “helping” with the meadow surgery on July 2nd we spotted a sparrow hawk carrying prey along the hedge (Big Meadow and Hay Meadow), an overflying curlew and heard a song thrush at the bottom of an Aldcliffe Rd garden There were numerous meadow browns and a silver y moth