Tag Archives: Redpoll

Cleaning up

We had a day on the farm cleaning up today, which was rather sad.

It was a cold and blustery day – you can tell it was blustery from the angle of the feeder in the picture, but you’ll have to take my word for the temperature.

We spoke to the lady who is moving in to run a project, agreed a price for the polytunnel and found out that she is now on version 9 of her plan for the site as the farmer and incoming tenants keep changing their minds about what she can have. That’s life on the farm – you pay your rent and you get messed about.

It seems that the architects will be flattening the allotment area – all the herbs, the rhubarb and the keyhole beds are under threat. The plan is to erect a selection of yurts and garden rooms.

According to the internet there were two Waxwings in the neglected orchard in Flintham so we went to look for them as it’s only the next village. We didn’t see any, though there were plenty of Fieldfares about.

Best bird of the day turned out to be a Redpoll perching in a tree by the Ecocentre when we pulled up. That’s now the seconf redpoll we’ve had at the centre and the first for this year. I managed one blurred photo before it flew away.

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Fieldfare

In the afternoon we tried again – no Waxwings, but there were about 60 Fieldfares with a dozen Blackbirds and a single, silent, Long-tailed Tit.

 

The Marmalade Police and other stories…

My first thought on waking this morning was “The Marmalade Police cars don’t have very impressive sirens.”

No, I’m not sure what it was about either. I think it probably stems from my thoughts on making Epiphany tarts for our Christmas party, and my concerns about not having enough colours of jam to do the job properly. The use of marmalade has crossed my mind, but I have reservations, despite the recipe provided in the link.

There is something wrong, according to my moral conserve compass about mixing jam and marmalade. I’m not sure where this comes from – I’m happy with jam and curd being used together for instance – but I’m conflicted. Where does it end? Bovril? Marmite? Chocolate spread?

Obviously this has resulted in a dream world in which fruit spreads have their own Conserve Constabulary for ensuring that they are used correctly. Or, more tongue-twistingly, its own Jam Gendarmerie.

Yes, I admit it doesn’t sound sane, but dreams are like that.

We were out on the farm today, so things were less exotic for the rest of the day. We saw a Buzzard walking on a ploughed field looking for worms, and a few more Fieldfares in the driveway. Couldn’t get shots of either. Buzzards really don’t measure up to my idea of majestic bird of prey.

Couldn’t get a shot of any bird at all during the morning, but I did manage to answer some emails, have a meeting and test a pork pie.

Finally, just after lunch I snapped a Long-tailed tit. We haven’t seen many this year and I missed some yesterday. It’s not a great shot but it was nice to get one, even if the dirty glass was messing with the autofocus. That was followed by some time with Men in Sheds and a go at emptying the polytunnel.

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Long tailed tit at the Ecocentre feeders

Finally, with the fog growing thicker, and swirling with menace, I had one more go before knocking off early. A Wren kept tormenting me by posing in clear view, only to vanish as I zoomed in. We had Starlings, Blue tits, Great tits and Greenfinches, plus a mob of Goldfinches.

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Mob of Goldfinches

Finally a small brown bird perched to feed. I zoomed in and took the shot, noticing a tiny red patch on the head. My first thought was Linnet, but I’ve been fooled by red-faced Goldfinches and bad light before. I have seen Linnets around, but not on the bird table, so it’s always likely one may drop in.

However, when I checked the photo I had a pleasant surprise: it’s a Redpoll.

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Redpoll on the Ecocentre feeder

It’s not super-rare, but I’ve not seen one on the farm before and I’ve never seen one on a bird table either. All in all it was a good end to the day.