Sunday, 27 January 2013

Gardenfare to start with ......

This could have been three posts rather than one but this is my attempt at stringing them together. A real dump of snow closed the M6 overnight and brought overall snow levels to around a foot deep. A Fieldfare which took up residence in the garden on Tuesday continued to eat and guard all the apples I have been putting out on a daily basis. It drives all the Blackbirds out of the garden as soon as they appear and won't tolerate them anywhere near the apples. There had been up to 8 Blackbirds feeding in the garden on a daily basis prior to the Fieldfare moving in but they don't get much of a look in now.

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
I started taking photos of the Fieldfare from an upstairs window at first but it allowed me to go into the garden and approach it to within 4 metres; a stunning bird. The garden was quite busy with other birds coming to the feeders and I also  managed to get a good photo of Siskin and Pied Wagtail in the process but my focus was really on the Fieldfare.

Siskin, (Carduelis spinus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)

Satisfied I had some good shots of the Fieldfare I walked over to Orrell Water Park. The German ringed Black-headed Gull was still present on the lower lake and was the only ringed bird out of about 110 Black-headed Gulls present. A group of 9 Moorhens were stood on the ice and looked rather forlorn. There were 12 Coot present and I watched one dive down and lift a cluster of muscles on to the ice (presumably zebra muscles) and eat each muscle whole.

Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus)

Coot (Fulica atra)
Coot (Fulica atra)
After lunch I went up to my baited site at Haigh to top up the feeders. I put up one 60ft net while I was there and caught 44 birds over the next couple of hours or so. All of the birds caught were in good condition and some were carrying good fat deposits. Only 8 birds were ringed with the other 36 being retraps. A new Redwing was the first for they year as were a retrap Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Redwing (Turdus ilicacus)

Nuthatch (Sitta europea)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus major)
Ringing totals 26/01/12 with retraps in brackets.
Redwing 1
Blackbird 1
Brambling 2 (4)
Chaffinch 3 (2)
Robin 1 (1)
Blue Tit - (10)
Greenfinch - (6)
Great Tit - (3)
Coal Tit - (4)
Nuthatch - (1)
Long-tailed Tit - (3)
Great-spotted Woodpecker - (1)
Goldfinch - (1)
Totals 8 new and 36 retraps.

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