Firstly, apologies for the general lack of blogging over the last week or so - been mighty busy, not least with a demanding, yet superb, chainsaw training course, which I'm still in the middle of.
And as we all know, chainsaws and birding don't really mix...
Still n' all, good to hear a Greater 'Pecker drumming in the garden at Dempsey Towers before work this morning, with a Siskin or two calling, while I enjoyed watching Ringed Plover back on the Green Beach while on patrol at the weekend (about 40 Twite at Weld Rd on Sunday).
Working/training down at Rimrose Valley today, and the relative peace of lunchbreak provided a nice Goldcrest flitting about, with Long Tailed Tits, Goldfinch etc and both Buff Tailed and Red Tailed Bumblybees in sheltered areas.
Headed out onto Plex this evening after work, with the last rays of the afternoon sun strafing the peaty Lancashire soil.
Mighty parky, with a strong breeze ripping over the fields, but I wanted to have another look at the flock of Yellowhammers feeding in the stubble up from the new Plex Brow conversion place.
I'd tried and failed to get a good look at 'em on Friday, when a Raven came through heading south, and only three Yellowhammers were in the field, but there were at least ten birds tonight, with six Reed Buntings and a big fat Corn Bunting.
Given that the golden rule of mossland birding is "NEVER GET OUTTA THE CAR", this feeding flock can be quite frustrating to count accurately and watch well - the birds fly out of the stubble and into low willow and hawthorn, but drop into the ditch as soon as you approach.
At least one or two of the Yellowhammers were managing half-hearted attempts at song this evening, which almost made me think it was warmer than it was...
30 odd FIeldfare and as many Starlings in the stubble with 'em, with the usual Buzzard, gamebirds and Lapwings, whose wailing calls are not quite at the full-on cardiac arrest levels of springtime yet.
Thanks to Chris Tynan for providing me with details of his latest ringing return of a colour banded BHG, W-E8UX.
Chris had the bird on Southport Marine Lake on December 4th last year.
It had been ringed in Amsterdam on March 5th, 2011 as a female, at Nieuwmarkt, then reported from Orstedparken, Copenhagen on March 25th, before Chris connected with it at the end of last year.
Since his sighting, the bird was seen yesterday (6.03.12), again in Copenhagen (the Svanemollebugten district if you really must know) - a nice sequence of records showing that even our BHGs have some interesting migration tricks up their sleeves.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...