A bumper year?

Flanders Moss NNR

It is encouraging to see plenty of young birds about at the moment. It is a completely unscientific hunch, based only on sightings I have seen over the last few weeks but it seems it might have been a good breeding year for some bird species. There are already considerable tit flocks about, with the long tailed tit parties being especially vocal. On the west edge of Flanders there is a large flock of goldfinches and linnets feasting on the mass of seeding thistles there. It is great to see such an abundant food supply available to birds and many of the flock tucking it were this years birds – there may be some land managers who have different views on this.

There are also several parties of stonechat families chacking their way round the moss. These are likely to be second broods for the hardworking parents. Here is one of the birds – very young and still to get its proper stonechat livery.

And you might be hearing young buzzards and sparrowhawks around you at the moment. Once the fledged youngsters leave the nest they often sit on a perch and then just scream constantly for their parents to feed them. This young buzzard was doing exactly that. It was perched on our Flanders Moss NNR sign and in between doing a bit of preening and tidying up and sunbathing it kept up a constant, repetitive, high pitched calling, demanding food from harnessed parents. Sound familiar anyone?

Sunbathing buzzard

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