February – Birds to look out for

Although this month is in the middle of winter, the birds are already aware that the daylight hours are lengthening. This produces an increase in bird song, searches for breeding sites and the disputes over these sites. The woods around Baildon are home to all three of our woodpeckers so listen out for the loud drumming of the Great Spotted Woodpecker, the “yaffing” call of the Green Woodpecker and the less common drumming of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker whose drumming is very fast and drill like. Baildon Bank is a good area to locate Green Woodpecker as the bird searches the rocky outcrops for ants.
On the edge of the moors, we should expect a build up of Lapwings and Golden Plovers especially in the Glovershaw area. Nearer towards Weecher Reservoir, the feral Greylag Geese will congregate in fields adjacent to the reservoir and the odd Oystercatcher may be seen. On sunny days the early Skylarks may well be persuaded to sing.
This winter, flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing numbers have been disappointing but if the ground is frost free, we may still see some flocks feeding up before they depart to Scandinavia. The odd Curlew may be heard as they return early to the moorland fringes.

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