Friday, 7 February 2014

(Starlings)- Where have all the Starlings gone

Its been mentioned by plenty o’er last few weeks,
Why am I not getting any birds at the feeders in my garden?

Well all I can think is that it’s because the birds are finding, plenty of food just where they are!  here, there and everywhere (in the Countryside), because its been ridiculously mild this Autumn, this Winter! In fact unprecedented in my life time.

If we are to get severe weather or frost, you can bet they will come back into the gardens then. 

Others have said the Starling roost over at Leighton Moss is poor this year,
Have some of the birds decided to roost elsewhere?

Well maybe some have, there’s usually a sub roost in Burton In Kendal, and probably other sub roost as well.

But from my experience, the Starlings never even came into the Country last Autumn in the large amounts you would get in normal years. During the periods of usual high migration entry, day in, and day out I checked on all days, but gave special attention to the “usual peak dates” eg: October 26th ish…. And it just never happened, they probably was about less than half of the normal numbers.

It was a similar situation with the Fieldfare, it was a really poor showing this time around.  Because it’s been so mild there has been lots of obtainable food over in the Scandanavia’s.  Even the Waxwing have stayed over there and been enjoying the added bonus of insects at that!

The Redwing fared much better with reasonable numbers recorded.
"I want them frosts, and I want them now!!"

Seriously I do hope we get them very very soon eg: February, I am sure we will get them, so please lets have them NOW!  It could be disastrous if what happens is similar to last year and we don’t get them til March (throughout March), and cruelly the worst scenario the end of March. And last years figures are maybe in now, and they may show that the very early small migrants eg: Chiffchaffs and even the early migrating Goldcrest, just could not handle the severe frost, some blown off course with those strong winds, but many perished on account of no available food on their arrival, no insects!

It still has not gone down well at all here! How we lost 50% exactly of our breeding stock of Chiffchaffs all in one “foul swoop”  in and around Burton In Kendal.  Usually we have 34 nesting pairs, last year this number was down to 17 pairs. I have no results of the outcome of the breeding.


Smart A** is having a day with the Ringer.

Smart A** is out and about yet again.
He’s decided to have a day with the Bird Ringer.
Ringer has caught a bird in his mist nets
Soon a inquisitive crowd has gathered around him,

One of the onlookers is guess who? Yes its Smart A**
He starts to take over and advises the gathered crowd,
“Do you know how to tell the difference between,
A Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff in the field”
Well its easy when you know how!
Just take note of the leg colour, if it’s a pinkish yellow,
It will be a Willow Warbler and if the legs are blackish,
It will be a Chiffchaff.

So Smart A** says to everyone “ So here we are we have
Got a lovely condition Willow Warbler.”  And then goes on to brag,
“its pretty good when you know your stuff when it comes to birds”.

Within seconds the ringer realeases the “Willow Warbler”,
Which quickly shot off and ascended on a nearby tree not far away.
And  to everyone’s amazement the bird started to sing.
“Chiff-Chaff-Chitty”, Chiff Chaff Chitty.

18th September 2012.