Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Frozen Carr

After defrosting the car and delivering it to the garage for the third time in a month I walked back home through the frozen ice sheet that is currently covering the county. At Prestwick two Buzzards squabbled over a perch just yards from the main road before I was offered a lift home which I declined (where are these offers when you really need them?). Was told for the umpteenth time about a large brown bird much bigger than a Buzzard that is in the area. Still a bit sceptical as I can't find it and it only seems to appear to non birders which is funny considering the number of them in the area but the report has come from five different sources.
Anyway down the road the hedges were lifting with Fieldfare, Blackbirds, Redwing plus a few Mistle and Song Thrush. Walking along you push the flock ahead of you, numbers increasing as they go but never letting you closer than thirty feet or so. Eventually if something is coming the other way they get trapped in group before eventually exploding into the air in a chuck, chucking flock and doubling back around you to start feeding again. This means they are very difficult to count but five hundred plus wouldn't be a bad guess. Fortunately the sun has got through to the ditches and there are some patches of open water where they gather to drink.
The open flooded fields are ice bound but squeaking with Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails feeding on the frozen ice. A Snipe was flushed and a Water Rail heard before a panic started amongst the Fieldfares. A Sparrowhawk came out of the hedgerow and up the road veering left as it saw me and clutching a small brown bird in its talons, probably a Meadow Pipit.
Other birds were few in number the Tits, Wrens and Robins having probably moved into the gardens of Dinnington. I know my garden is a never ending dash of birds and Sundays Garden Birdwatch count knocked off fifteen species in as many minutes with five Tree Sparrows joining the usual House throng. Robins still rule the roost although one has become three if a bit begrudgingly.

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