Monday, 9 July 2012

Meh...and a ramble about finches

Had planned to visit Blueberry Farm at Maidwell this evening after dropping Amy off in Northampton but in the end the forboding skies and crappy light levels made me change my plan... a quick look at Naseby and Welford reservoirs in the hope of cashing in on the influx of Common Scoter to inland waters over the past few days was extremely unproductive so I drove back to Leicester through the lanes and dropped in on a few Little Owl sites. Single birds at three sites today but only one image of any reasonable quality, and thats pushing the definition of reasonable quite far...

In other news a journey from Yeovil back to Leicester on Sunday as a passenger allowed me to gorm into the surrounding countryside more than usual and resulted in a mammoth count of 21 Buzzard - over a journey of 188(ish) miles that averages as one every 8.95 miles! All singles too, no pairs/ family parties noted.

And finally, sometime last week, I forget which day (for arguments sake lets say Wednesday), a female Siskin visited the garden everso briefly before my loud rummaging for camera equipment scared it away! It was such a surprising sight that it had me wondering for a while whether I was mistaking it for a juvenile Greenfinch or something but no, definitely a smaller bird (this is what drew my attention to it in the first place as I walked through the lounge and glanced at the feeders), and the diagnostic wing bars were a giveaway too. The main reason I think for my mild confusion was that we've never had a summer record of one before and even the past 3 or 4 winters haven't produced a record which is strange, they used to be a regular visitor to the feeders mixed in with the Greenfinch flock. Maybe the seeming decline in Greenfinch has had something to do with it - ten years ago a 40 strong flock of Greenfinch used to be a daily occurence here, now its getting to the stage that you're more likely to see a Bullfinch or Goldfinch on one of our feeders than a Greenie, but that isn't surprisng, Bullfinch are reaching plague proportions round here - we've recorded at least 10 individuals for the past 2 weeks - 4 males, 3 females and 3 juveniles and I'm really not over-exaggerating when I say that if you look into our garden at any point during the day at the moment there will be at least one Bullfinch present, normally two or three.

Just to illustrate this point I have literally just wandered into the lounge and looked into the garden, half past eight in the evening and only one bird present in the whole garden - one male Bully! On the nut feeder of all things, the crazy b*stard.
Well, that's it for my musings on finch population dynamics in a South Leicestershire garden, maybe if I'm lacking something to blog about in the near future I'll bore entertain you with a summary of the dissertation I wrote earlier this year, it focused on the over-wintering Short-eared Owls at Maidwell in Northants so is reasonably relevant to this blog and it also received a B grade so must have at least a speck of scientific validity!

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