Sunday 9 January 2022


Cycled up to Wheldrake early afternoon. Stacks of birds present, including a huge flock of Lapwings, Golden Plovers and Fieldfares feeding on the main meadow. A Marsh Harrier caused panic among the birds, checking for any injured or sick birds. During the melee, the birds were distracted and a Sparrowhawk took the opportunity, dashing out from the riverside willows to snatch a Fieldfare. Pretty cool! The Barnacle Goose was feeding among the Greylags, along with two Pink-feet that arrived late afternoon with several hundred Greylags. Good numbers of large gulls came in, which is a change from the recent norm. At least 170 Herring Gulls and 35+ Great Black-backs were present and I pulled out a first-winter Caspian Gull from among them. A small one, probably a female, she seemed to have been feeding somewhere gross, with some dark brown splodges down one side of her breast. I cycled back at dusk noting calling Grey Partridges along the roadside and a Little Owl atop a telegraph post near Crockey Hill. Oh, and I heard a Moorhen near Wheldrake bridge! Where was that on bird race day?

Meanwhile, at home, a female Blackcap and a couple of Reed Buntings have been visiting the feeders in the garden over the past week.

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