Here in West Wales we were late getting the snow and quick to lose it. No so good for sledging and making snowmen but it has been great for bird spotting. Over the past few weeks the farm has become a haven for many species we see either rarely or fleetingly. Redwings and fieldfares have been making their presence known in the fields and spinneys. The sound of the Fieldfare is truly one of winter. Starlings, whilst in decline, have been visiting in huge numbers. Neighboring dairy farms have streams of starlings in and out of their cattle sheds feeding on the crumbs of cake and blend left by the cows. This in itself can cause a problem with huge amounts of droppings left on the silage making it unpalatable for the cows. But the sight of a huge murmuration of starlings at dusk…well, who can fail to be stirred by the sight.
There have been good numbers of bullfinches too. They seem to like the long shelter belts along side the farm drives. That gorgeous pink breast brightens the dullest day. Lovely birds but look to your fruit buds when they are about!
The jewels of this chilly period are without doubt the goldcrests and the lapwings. There seems to be a goldcrest flitting around in every bramble patch and the sight of around 50 lapwings in amongst the ewes has me hoping that this species is holding its own.