Sunday, 4 November 2007

Redwings arrive at Cullaloe

I've been wondering for the past few weeks where the Redwings and other thrushes had got to, since the berry bushes at Cullaloe have been laden, but nothing has been taking them. I'm happy to say that yesterday i saw my first Redwings on site! There was a small flock of about 10 birds. They stuck predominantly to the far side of the loch, past the spillway, but i don't think it will be long till they're seen at the hawthorn bushes along the path.
Yesterday was one of the magical days that you occasionally get when visiting the reserve. It seems that since the wind has died down, absolutely everything was out and about. There were Siskins down at the car park, along with a few Pheasants standing on the wall which marks the reserve boundary, there was a flock of approximately 20 Long-tailed Tits at the edge of the large pine trees and mixed in with them was a single Treecreeper. That's only the fourth time i've seen one this year, making it equal to the number of times I've seen the Kingfisher!
I'd commented previously that the feeders had barely been getting any use over the past few weeks. That changed yesterday! There was a large influx of Blue Tits and Great Tits on the reserve, chattering away, and for the first time in well over a month I was seeing five or six birds at the feeders at one time. Recently it has just been one or two. There were also quite a few Chaffinches joining them at the feeders, which is always good to see.
The loch itself had much of the same species as it normally does at this time of year. There were plenty of Mallard, Teal and Wigeon along with the resident Mute Swans. There was also a lone Grey Heron, which was great to see when it caught a fish that must have been at least six inches long! I also heard Curlews at the far side of the loch, but sadly never saw them. They must have been hiding in about the reeds. It's good to know that they are still visiting, though.
The sheer scale of birds on the reserve yesterday was amazing. We even had a flock of about fifty Rooks alight on the tops of the pine trees. Hopefully with the wind now died down for a bit, we'll keep these large numbers of birds on site.

In response to a previous question regarding Weasels on site. I still have not seen any on the reserve itself, but on the way home yesterday, one ran across the road in front of me. It was only about 500 metres past the reserve entrance, so it is a safe wager that the reserve itself is part of their territory.

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