Bird life in the Park this January has been quiet, although there are still a few birds about, including some winter visitors from Scandinavia and Russia. The commonest of these visitors is the redwing (turdus iliacus), which can be seen in the Park occasionally; most obviously at night on migration south, when its “stuuf” piping call can be clearly heard.
The second ‘visitor’ is the fieldfare (turdus pilaris) a slightly larger member of the thrush family which has a blueish plumage, in comparison to our resident mistle thrushes (turdus viscivorus) and song thrush (turdus philomelos). Both the fieldfare and the redwing have increased in numbers in gardens this week due to the cold weather.
Some of the blackbirds (turdus merula) in your gardens are also visitors from Northern Europe. The smallest bird in Europe also graces the Park, and is a stunner if you can see it. This is the goldcrest (regulus regulus), which occurs in winter in mixed tit flocks which usually include blue tits, great tits, coal tits, long tailed tits and occasionaly tree creepers – watch out for them in the Park and visiting garden feeding stations.
Today’s highlight was a common buzzard (buteo buteo) which soared over the park at around 1.30pm showing wonderful plumage in the winter sun, oblivious to the winter sports fraternity below !!
And, finally, a report of a raven (corvus corax) mobbing a sparrowhawk (accipiter nisus) over McDonalds in Guiseley this morning.
Spring is just around the corner!!
Photographic source – Halstead & Districe Photographic Society Gallery