Thursday, 27 February 2020

Freeze frame

We inland birders, especially those that toil on dry sites, get very excited about a bit of water. Not for us the wide expanse of an estuary, or the horizon-filling sea, and not even an ugly grey reservoir - no, we deal in small streams, village ponds and...


...sheets of rain water!

Believe it or not, I started to salivate when I saw how much water had collected on the aptly named Bog Field at Canons Farm. When this field gets extra wet, it has history, with at least two Green Sandpipers having been falsely lured in. My frantic scanning for diving duck, phalaropes and waders produced... a bathing Carrion Crow. Well, the excitement lasted all of 30 seconds.

A quiet afternoon followed, save for the wintering finch flock, that seem to be keeping to Tart's, Ballard's and Bog Fields. Chaffinch numbers are keeping at a steady 150-200, but the Linnet flock is slowly building. On arrival I counted 275, but a couple of hours later this had increased to 400. I took a brief video of the flock (not all of it) and on my return home counted birds from frozen frames. There are at least 500 present. Here's a flavour of the action (the BBC Natural History Film Unit will not have sleepless nights if they view this). If you view full-frame you will get a better idea of numbers, and just before the closer birds fly in front of the tree you can see another sizeable flock behind them (and higher up).

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