Saturday, 4 March 2017

The Sentinel Returns

After seeding the path in the stubble field for our later quest, Emanuela and me spent two hours trudging round Hagg Wood on Wednesday morning looking for the Arctic Redpoll again, but to no avail. We didn't even see a single Redpoll! A lone calling Willow Tit, a few Siskins and a couple of screeching Jays was the best, though early spring in a wood was a nice change, with birdsong filling the air. We headed over to the fields to look for the Pine Bunting which had hopefully been attracted to the seed I laid down earlier. Sadly it was nowhere to be seen. After a couple of fruitless hours checking the paddock by the housing estate (Kerver Lane) we went back to the stubble field. A Corn Bunting, several Tree Sparrows, c15 Yellowhammers, two Bramblings and a few Chaffinches were now visiting the seed. But no Pine Bunting! I noticed Yellowhammers coming in from the west and dropping on the hedge. And suddenly, there it was, the Pine Bunting, sitting on top of the hedge. I called it and Emanuela and Peter got on to it. After 30 seconds, it flew off the hedge and dropped into the middle of the stubble field in the long grass - doh! It was about the only bird that shunned the seed. Unbelievable. Anyway, it was nice to see this little chap after a few weeks. It is really starting to look very smart too now.

Today, I had to pop over to Acaster to pick up some stuff, so with clearing skies - at last - I bobbed down the airfield to have a look for the Great Grey Shrike. Having gone AWOL for a bit, she had turned up again at the end of last week and it took no time at all to find her, busily hunting from her favourite bushes and trees. During the time I watched her, she again caught a Field Vole, which she took back to the scrub by the entrance to the yard. She was soon back out hunting again. A circling Red Kite was nice and the only other sighting of note.

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