Sunday, November 7, 2010

More Redwing, less Redkite

This weekend, a family migration from dublin, sheffield and london to 'yorkshire-home' happened for the bro's birthday.
Amazing weekend weather wise, cold but mostly clear blue skies, a little cloudy, but not a drop of rain.

I spent a few hours yesterday with mum walking the fields, which I loved. We heard and saw a couple of Jays, heard, but didn't see, a Woodpecker, heard and saw 3 Redkites, saw Herring gulls in the farmer's fields, (I've gotten so used to just associating them with seashores), saw Dunnock, Robin, Chaffinches, Blackbird, Blue tits, Long tailed tits, Coal tits, Pheasant with juvs, Rooks, Jackdaws, Magpies, Goldfinches, heard Greenfinches and saw lots of Redwing and Fieldfare activity.

For the first time ever, I actually saw a Redkite sat in a tree and then later, just as it was getting dark (about 4pm) I saw another one perched on a fence close to our house. Amazing stuff.

I've taken quite a few photos of Longtailed tits, they're nearly always flying away or in the middle of bushes or trees with twigs running across part of their body, so the photos have always been quite messy. Today, I  managed to get a photo of a Long tailed tit actually perched on the outer branch. It stayed still for long enough to get a photo, then it flew off again with it's flock of 10.
 Long tailed tit - tiny stub of a bill and very long tail.

Long Tailed tits, always on the move, always in amongst the twigs and branches.

Woodpecker hole in tree, you can tell it's a woodpecker hole because you can see where they've drummed the hole - means it's not just a hole where a branch used to be.
Cow on fire

One of the 20-40 Redwings I saw. Not sure if there were 2 flocks or I was seeing the same flock
 The Redwings were extremely active, flying from one hedgerow to another, to another, it was constant. They were very noisy too. A huge comparison to a flock of 20 Fieldfares I saw fly in. I got the feeling they were just arriving, they flew over my head in a strict military formation and landed very seriously in a tree and were so still for quite a while. Like, statue still. It was kind of eerie, didn't help that the clouds were dark at the time and I just saw their silhouettes of stillness.
You can't see too well from this photo, but there are 20 Fieldfares all standing very still and silent in this tree

4 Fieldfares, in a different tree, again, they were still for about 10 minutes. But, wouldn't you be if you'd just flown from Siberia?

It was great to see all the Fieldfare and Redwing arrivals here, good seeing a woodpecker nest so close to home and amazing to see the Redkites sitting in trees and on fences so close to home too. I love countryside and farmland especially with nearby rivers, I think I prefer this setting to being next to the sea. Good to know for when I win the lotto and am choosing where to buy my weekend residence eh.