Author Archives: aldcliffebirder

Owls & Med gull

The little owls remain in the same area and I have been seeing them almost daily. There were at least 2 fledged young up to a week ago (you can see a couple of my very amateur pics here)

Yesterday (Monday) there was a Mediterranean gull feeding in the arable field alongside commoner gulls and hordes of jackdaws and a few rooks & carrion crows. Today there were in excess of 50 rooks there – surely a record count for this area?

 

 

Ploughed field

On Saturday there were 4 white wagtail (the continental race of pied wagtail) with 22 pied wagtail + 3 stock dove in the freshly ploughed field, mid afternoon.
On Sunday, a pair of grey partridge were present. Still a few fieldfare and redwing in Pony Wood.

Brambling

A female brambling was with the linnets and chaffinches feeding in the arable field this morning.

The annual influx of fieldfare and redwing is well underway too, with a mixed flock of c120 birds by the Admiralty Wood.

Autumn birds

2 crossbills flew over FAUNA at 8.40 this morning, heading west.

There were also a few redwing whizzing around (my first on the reserve this autumn) – 4 small groups, totaling approximately 40 birds.

A few teal have been using School Pond to roost and feed while snipe are best seen early in the morning and again at dusk.

The local sparrowhawks have been putting in regular appearances with sightings almost every time I walk through.

Wheatears

Dan H reported a ‘fall’ of c20 wheatear & a white wagtail in Flora field yesterday. I had a quick look this morning and there were at least 6 wheatear still present there, along with several pied and 2 white wagtails.

Ploughed fields are highly attractive to newly arrived migrants, so it’s well worth keeping an eye on Flora over the next few weeks.

Also of note, an osprey passed over the RSPB offices at White Cross on Monday afternoon – it would almost certainly have flown over FAUNA given its direction of flight!

Spring things

At least 2 chiffchaff singing around the reserve today (first one of the year heard early last week). 3 stock dove and pair great spotted woodpecker in Pony Wood. Lots of nest-building activity from great & blue tits. Buzzard & 2 raven overhead.

 

 

Barn owl

The barn owl has been showing very well lately and seems to becoming something of a local celebrity (and quite right too). It has been seen both early in the morning and the late afternoon in and around the FAUNA reserve.

Barn owls tend to keep a low profile in poor weather, particularly in wet & windy stuff (something we’ve had a fair share of recently) as it makes hunting really tricky. Also, they have a tendency to get waterlogged feathers, which doesn’t help much either. So, it is best looked for during calm, bright conditions.

Here, Hare Here

While checking barn owl roost sites yesterday I noted at least 2 hares on the reserve. The mixed finch flock at the arable field appears to be growing with around 40 linnet present, along with chaffinches and greenfinches.  A prolonged spell of cold weather should see further increases.

* Post title courtesy of Withnail And I.