Fairfield Feeding Station Updates

An excerpt from email from Dan

We erected a LDBWS sign on site a few days back. We should have done this earlier because the birds, having read up on our objectives have finally got the idea and are feeding regularly.

Today there were up to 22 Chaffinches, 12 Linnets, four Reed Buntings, two Dunnocks and a Stock Dove feeding on the ground seed (c 8 metres left of the table as viewed from the double gate) and mid-single figures of Chaffinch, Robin, Great Tit and Blue Tit coming to the seed on the table.

Also in the immediately vicinity the regular male Kestrel, two Mistle Thrushes and three Song Thrushes (two of which were in sub-song).

Ian spied a number of birds feeding yesterday including Goldfinch.

Now that the passerines have got used to the table I took the bold step of moving it two or three metres nearer the double gates. Hope they don’t get spooked!



Bird Feeding Table


The birds have begun to use the feeding table. Not a great photo, but it shows 2 chaffinch and a goldfinch on the table and another goldfinch nearby.

When I went back later there was a great tit and a blue tit there.

The whole Little Wood and extension area now seems to be richer in birdlife!

Birds on Birch Trees and Weasel in the Wood



The upper photo shows a lesser redpoll feeding on the birch seeds, on the only tree with significant numbers of catkins in that area near the sightings board.

The lower photo shows one of about 20 chaffinch feeding in the margins and returning to the birch in the Pony Wood Extension.

The weasel was spotted at the northern tip of Pony Wood and disappeared into the bramble, before having a last look at us!


Little Grebe?

Spotted this little bird (smaller than e.g. a moorhen), on the canal by Aldcliffe Rd. today. It was diving, and coming up with a little fish most times! Is it a Little Grebe in its winter plumage? Or a juvenile of some variety? Sorry about the picture quality, but it’s just on my phone.


Volunteering session Saturday 12th December 2020

Here is Jonathan’s message

Hello All,


The next Saturday morning volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora takes  place on December 12th at 10.00am.

The Fairfield Association continues to run volunteer sessions under our revised  ‘dispersed group protocol’. Note that Government guidance on the ‘rule of six’ and mixing with other households is quite clear that ‘work or the provision of voluntary or charitable services’ is not restricted but must follow social distancing. This we achieve by:

* Maintaining a 2 metre rule throughout our sessions.

* Limiting work Teams to a maximum of six.

* Teams have staggered start times, keep separate and have separate breaks.

* The meeting place is the Orchard Stump Circle rather than the more confined shed.

In order to facilitate this volunteers must  ‘book in’ with the Volunteer Organiser (Ian) if they plan to attend. To do this please email or text Ian no later than noon Thursday at:


07811 970 595

Ian will then allocate you to a team, a start time and indicate what tools you might bring if you wish to use your own. Please bring your own refreshment.


Tasks for Saturday are:

* Clearing leaves from the track from Sunnyside to the Orchard and all around the shed. Tidying work in the Orchard. Mick will lead this team.

* Pony Wood work. Clearing away rank grass patches in Pony Wood. Removing  an old section of fence. Some sapling planting. Graham to lead this team

* Extracting the brash from the stock fence alongside the Hay Meadow. Ian is to lead this team. If there are not enough to form a full third team –  replacing fallen bird and bat boxes.


Best wishes to you,

December flush count

It’s impossible to predict how any one count will go: there does not seem to be any obvious pattern. This month’s December tally is on the smaller side. In fact the lowest so far this year at 32 snipe including 2 jack. 28 of them were in Big Meadow, 3 in School Pond and a solitary bird in the Hay Meadow. Whilst Upper Sowerholme was devoid of snipe, it did yield 6 fieldfare, a kestrel and 6 teal (probably the same ones spotted earlier on Willow Pond by Graham during  his reserve inspection). There was a reed bunting in School Pond; a heron and curlew seen in Big Meadow.