Birding in the Grip of Winter

Jan 25 –  Morning Walk

Temperatures dipped to minus seven last night so a snowy walk around Baildon Moor did not look good for seeing birds. How wrong could I be? Just up the hillside from the cattle grid at Glovershaw a small flock of birds could be seen clearly against the white background. I hoped they would be the uncommon Snow Bunting. Buntings they were but actually 13 Reed Buntings obviously finding food in these frozen surroundings, presumably grass seeds. Not far from them, a group of 23 Red Grouse were also feeding.

As my walk continued on the thick snowy path along Glovershaw, four Stock Dove and then a single Skylark flew over. Continuing into Birch Close Lane, two Red Kites circled in the distance but much nearer, a Little Owl flew onto a fence giving great views.  Conditions for walking improved as I followed Sconce Lane towards Weecher Reservoir and in a field below spotted two coveys of Grey Partridge of six and seven in total. It wasn’t until I reached the scout camp that I saw my second Little Owl perched in a small oak tree. Despite walking close to the bird, it never moved from its perch but its eyes and head followed me as I went by.

The pink, wintry sky and the pure white of the snow made this walk a beautiful experience enhanced by seeing these resident birds coping in their own way under these harsh conditions.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.