Monday, 30 January 2017

Rufford Country Park woodland birds

A farther than usual trip today to Nottinghamshire, in the hope to seeing some British Hawfinches. We got to Rufford Country Park at 8:45, and before closing the car doors we had spotted a couple of chunky birds atop the trees, which turned to be Hawfinches. It was dark, damp and foggy, not a great day for photography. Apparently the Hawfinches roost in this area, before dispersing, therefore the early start. A Nuthatch called from the lime avenue, and soon we watched a couple of Treecreepers and a Goldcrest. More Hawfinches fed on buds high up on the trees, where they were in the company of Greenfinches and Goldfinches. We could occasionally hear their soft whistles and 'tic' calls reminiscent of the robin's.
A first record shot shows how dark it was.

The lime avenue

Hawfinch feeding on buds.
Four out of the six.
 The birds remained atop the trees near the car park, flying between them occasionally, until they dispersed. One of them came to the ground and fed on lime seeds for a while, showing how well their colours blend with fallen leaves. My clip is better than my photos.

After that we went around the park, stopping at the feeders, where a Stock Dove fed amongst Woodpigeons. In the lake a few Goosanders were amongst usual suspects. Before leaving we had another hawfinch sighting, and with the light brigter, I got slightly better shots (top), despite the bird being perched almost at the top of the tallest tree in the area. Two other woodland birds of note was a pair of Marsh Tits by the lake and two Jays.
Stock Dove
Long-tailed tits.
Fungus on birch.
One of two Marsh Tits. This one had been feeding on a a burdock seedhead it had pulled from the dry plant.
Coming for sunflower hearts.
Lake view.
CanadaxGreylag hybrid goose.
Grey Squirrel
Cedar of Lebanon cones.

Mistle thrush.

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