Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Bramblings and a Black Redstart in Bowland, Lancashire

October 20, 2010:
In the Trough of Bowland this afternoon there was a mobile mixed flock of Bramblings and Chaffinches. The birds were mainly feeding in the road under overhanging beech trees, the wheels of passing traffic having broken open the fallen seed shells for them. This is quite a busy minor road and the birds would continue feeding almost until the cars were upon them.

Unfortunately, one young Brambling left it too late and was hit. I picked it up immediately but it was bleeding badly and obviously dead. I'd never previously been so close to a Brambling and it was saddening to see such a beautifully marked small bird, buff and white on its undersides, in such a state.

Shortly afterwards three Red-legged Partridges came down on the road to feed. These are relatively large birds and were clearly visible to the car drivers. One or two slowed down to avoid them but one drove straight and fast and directly at them killing one. How can anyone do that? Sickened, I departed.

[Red-legged Partridge, a survivor but for how long?]

On Waddington Fell a Black Redstart was feeding from a fence and drystone wall on the moor. From the point where it could be seen, a Great Grey Shrike (see the following posting) was also visible perched in a tree on the opposite side of the road. It was most unusual to see two scarce birds at the same time and from exactly the same place.

[Black Redstart]

It had been a good day apart from the carnage.

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