Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A+ for effort, B- for achievement

A couple of records of a Grey-headed Woodpecker at a feeding station in Maridalen was enough to tempt me to look for it even though I knew that it was erratic in its appearances. On the way up there wasa young elk by the roadside, as you can see in the picture it was very atmospheric in the wintery conditions.

At the feeding station it was cold - about -13C and with the window wound down I soon realised I did not have enough clothes on. After 3 hours I was numb through and hardly able to talk. So I put in the effort and deserved to be rewarded, but of course I wasn't!
I did have a smidgen of success with a smart male Hawfinch which had the largest bill I ever noticed on one of these brutes. This bird dropped in for less than a minute so does go to show that the birds move around a lot even if there is a well stocked larder. During the 3 hours I saw a single Treecreeper which dropped in for a couple of minutes, 2 Nuthatches which were also only briefly present, a single Crested Tit which was there for no more than a couple of minutes and a pair of Greenfinches which dropped in twice. The only birds that seemed to hang around were Bullfinches but the numbers of these could vary from a pair to around 20 and Blue and Great Tits were nearly always to be seen with Coal and Willow Tits popping in every 10 minutes or so. Upto 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 3 Jays were also fairly regular.
It is clear that the birds are constantly on the move, perhaps there is another feeding station nearby, or they are also finding natural food in the forest or maybe they get so much nutrition from the food that they just move off to digest it?
On the way home an immature Goshawk (female?) dwarfed the Magpies mobbing it

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