Additional Pages

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Yellow Sunday...5th Feb 2012

If yesterday had touches of 'Deilverance', today was much more 'Cold Mountain'. As I trundled down the misty snow covered lane, the local Jackdaws were brazenly sat in groups discussing me. Today was about birding areas that could only be reached by welly, so I set off for Barnett Brook. I was already in credit, having opened the blind to see a stonking male Blackcap feeding in the garden, a year tick, and on patch to boot ! How odd I have Blackcap and Chiffchaff on my year list ( both on patch), and it's barely February.
Anyroad, Captains Pool was 95% frozen, and the usual ducky suspects were mooching around along with a LBBG.A  nice Song Thrush, the common tit trio and the odd Goldfinch, along with House Sparrow and Starling were in the bag.
The small stubble field was quiet , except for the one side where a long pile of muck was pleasantly steaming away. A Pied Wagtail, a few Dunnocks and Chaffinches were exploring it, sensible fellows. Where there is muck, there is warmth and invertebrates. I hung around just in case a Brambling was lurking, before crossing the lane and heading for the brook. As I carefully traversed the footbridge I became aware the stubble field that the brook runs aside was  'chuffin' with birds.
A hundred or so mixed  Corvids , with half as many Woodpigeon went up, and settled into the trees and further down the field. I then noticed lots of finchy activity, commuting in groups of 20 from the tree canopy to the field. It became evident there was a large number of birds, easily over 100, working the field..Bingo !!
Scanning the tree line, I was gobsmacked, my bins were full of Yellowhammers, a dozen in 1 tree ! I had never seen more than 2 or 3 together, and my patch usually shows me a couple of breeding pairs each year.
Slowly edging closer to the body of the flock, I noticed more and more Yellow amongst the moving birds, and started picking them out on the top of the old crop heads too. I reckon there was c50 altogether, absolutely awsome to see so many of this red status species. The other main representative was Chaffinch, and I spent a good 30 minutes enjoying the flock move up and down from tree to field. I couldn't find a Brambling still , but there were a few Skylarks ( patch year tick) in there, as well as at least 2 Reed Bunting's, which was a patch life tick for me !
I finally dragged myself away, and on the way back noted c15 Siskin, Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, and a couple of Fildfare flying low down Sandy Lane.
With the weather today, I had no great expectation when I woke, but what a quality morning it turned out to be.

Didn't take my camera today, to slippy, but heres one I made earlier
'Ladies Pool in Bad Weather'


  1. It might be dodgey old weather, but it makes the birds move around a bit :-)

  2. Yellow Sunday? I hope your not refering to your habit of turning the snow yellow ;-)

    1. Captian slackbladder was not with me today ;-)

  3. Nice one Mark, that many yellowhammers must have been a thrilling experience, I saw c25 on Dartmoor last summer but they were well spread out, wonderful birds, bring back hedgerows and less intensive farming and they will return.