Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Corvid roosts

In the early days of this blog I did a post about the winter crow roosts in the dunstall park area. Time for an update courtesy of a report from those two stalwarts Lord Angus of Dunstall and Sir Geoffrey de Barleyfield. It appears that the number of roosting Jackdaws has reached 4 figures . this is more than double what I observed two years ago.  there is some speculation as to whether this is at the expense of the southern end of the reserve with the birds seemingly no longer regularly using Peasley wood.
It may also be at the expense of another species.  Magpies regularly numbered 150 on the derelict land towards Oxley. However on a recent visit (on a race meeting night) this area had largely been taken over by jackdaws with only 50 Magpies present.  Meanwhile the Magpies seem to have moved in part to the new training facility at Compton with about 100 there.
Other flocking behaviour has been the goldfinches which currently number about 40 around the new water feature but at the beginning of the month were in a very tight flock of at least 70.
Talking of roosting flocks was amazed at the Pied Wagtails in Lichfield yesterday evening with 200+ crossing the street.
Other news was a flock of fieldfare of 25 whilst talking to Bob at the barleyfield and bemoaning the fact that we hadn't seen any this winter.  Interestingly he has been regularly seeing the kestrel and saw two birds on one occasion so it seems we have male and female which perhaps have differing hunting times with the immature male favouring late in the day. Finally managed to get good enough views of the Kingfisher by the spill weir to see the orange on its bill and identify it as a female which is a step towards working out how many winterers we have.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

November round up

We have a minimum of three wintering birds (1each in north middle and south of the valley) all seen regularly throughout the month.  the heavy rains have washed away the nesting site so we will have to see what happens next year.
Regular sightings over the Barleyfield particularly at dusk. currently the bird is missing 2 tail feathers on its left side.  It is showing signs of being an immature male but light can be tricky and it is possible another birds is also present .
A single bird was present for the first half of the month on the barleyfield but may now have joined a small flock which were seen at6 the end of the month. still very few winter thrushes reflecting lack of berries perhaps partly caused by the successful resident birds eating them all.
numbers declined during the month suggesting the double figures of early Nov included passage birds.
Grey wagtail
still up to 6 birds present along the valley