Having said that I'll kinda miss my temporary little patch of East Yorkshire here at Fangfoss Station but unless I find somewhere better next year I'll be back in April to see what this most perfect of green lanes produces in the Spring. I'm unlikely to turn up a rarity here (though there's always a chance) but for traditional UK countryside birds I think it's exceptional, and with resident birds such as Skylark, Yellowhammer, Grey Partridge, Common Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Tree Sparrow, Song Thrush and Green Woodpecker to name but a few, and all in good numbers, within spitting distance of my motorhome there's never a dull day; oh and then there's the owls that I hear every single night.... Tawny, Barn and Little Owls - just fab! So good in fact that apart from a brief trips to Tophill Low & Hatfield Moor, I haven't strayed much recently.
|Fangfoss Station Lane ... centrepiece of my patch|
|Male Bullfinch, Fangfoss|
A bird I didn't mention above was our very own Bullfinch. Now I love these sizeable finches but boy are they shy and a nightmare to photograph ... never had a full frame decent pic and still haven't but there are up to half a dozen around here feeding on the mast heads of last season's Rosebay Willowherb and with a steady hand and not a little bit of stalking I've managed some very reasonable distance shots over the last couple of days when the morning light has been at its best.... here's a selection of pics
|Female of the species|
.......... and this male seemed particularly showy!
Not the sharpest by any means but the only half decent of both Mr and Mrs Bullfinch at lunch together .... typically showy male!
The early morning light was almost too bright lending more of an 'orangey' tinge to the male's normal rosy red breast.
Absolute corkers some of those male Bullfinches and its great to see little flocks of them around here. No less colourful are the many Yellowhammers around here (flocks of 50+ are not uncommon down this one lane), and this little chappie was nicely framed by the Hawthorne bush he was perched in.
|Fieldfare en route overhead!|
The Fieldfares and Redwings that were initially slow to arrive on our shores this Autumn are now well and truly here on our bushes and consuming our berries! This one is a Fieldfare and one of many I took a week or so ago when big flocks were making landfall on the coast and then streaming in over the Yorkshire Wolds along with Northern Song Thrushes and Blackbirds that swell our UK resident populations in Winter.
|Song Thrush, one of many new arrivals in the lane|
November is not only the best time of year to grow a moustache (I've declined again), it's also one of the best months of the year to catch up with and see big numbers of a variety of common birds. Why? Because in flocks they can work together to find food and gain safety from predators by being part of a big crowd!
Tits, finches and thrushes do this all the time in Winter as a survival mechanism and many other small bird species will often join in the crowd to take advantage of this mass foraging behaviour. This is why you will often see the odd Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Nuthatch or if you're very lucky a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in amongst a 'Tit band' of Long Tailed, Blue and Great Tits .... there's a Lesser Pecker doing just this at Adel Dam, nr Leeds at the moment!
Hatfield Moor the other evening as they were coming into roost ... me n Mark had close on 5000 massing birds around telegraph wires and although the light was abysmal the results were ok.
|Massing Common Starlings, nr Hatfield Moor|
Maybe only a mini 'murmuration' by national standards but awesome all the same and with a bit of tampering in photoshop, the artistic possibilities are endless!
|Male Marsh Harrier, Tophill Low|
|Male Shoveller, Tophill Low|
|Shovellers, Tophill Low|