Monday, 21 March 2016

Finches and Buntings at Sandy

11th March 2016

At this time of year there is often a build-up of finches and buntings at Sandy so time for a visit before they all disappear. I started with the feeders in the car park where a number of birds take advantage of the seed dropped on to the floor. Unfortunately, these feeders are under the trees and therefore always in deep shade which makes for difficult light conditions. Sadly a number of the Chaffinches here have growths on their legs, which can sometimes be caused by mites.

However, the main attraction this morning were the Bramblings, especially the males that were starting to get their black heads. The black does not moult through, but is caused by the buff fringes of the black feathers wearing off due to abrasion. Notice how the bird in the last photo is keeping an eye out for raptors overhead.

At the next set of feeders Siskins were queuing up for their turn. Here the light was much better so it was just a matter of waiting until one came close on a branch with no twigs in the way. As before, many were feeding on the floor on dropped seed.

Now on to Sandy Heath where there were good numbers of Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings. Unfortunately they were dropping in to the crop and therefore out of sight, so no chance of any photos. Luckily one or two stayed up in the trees like this female Yellowhammer.

But the bonus today was this lone Lesser Redpoll which was feeding on the seed heads and therefore always in view. To make things better the sun came out. How good is that?

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