Members and friends of the Sandstone Ridge Farmer Network met in unexpected sunshine at Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Bickley Hall Farm, on Monday morning and in the expectation of becoming a little more savvy on bird identification.
What a difference a morning makes!
This well-supported event (there were 23 of us in total) was led by the all-knowing and highly amusing Seumus Eaves who put us through our paces in advance of the Big Farmland Bird Count which runs from 7-16 February.
Seumus, an ecological and ornithological consultant who had kindly journeyed down from Lancashire, has worked for many years with farmers and landowners in the North West. And what a treat we had!
A whole new language and an introduction to bird calls amused us all.
Familiar now with 'GIS', and that's nothing to do with 'Geographic Information Systems' but everything to do with the 'General Impression and Shape' of birds, we dutifully clung to farm hedgerows which act as terrific corridors for farmland bird life and in our attempts not to spook the morning feeders!
And our swift rewards:
- Yellowhammer (with the morning sunshine literally bouncing off their chests and mindful of their birdsong which has a rhythm not unlike 'A little bit of bread and no cheese)'
- Skylark (we'll all be reminding ourselves of Shelley's 'To A Skylark' written in 1820)
- A flock of Lapwing (70-80 according to Seumus)
- At least 50 Pink-footed Geese flew over
- Pintail duck (the male having a delightful chocolatey brown head)
- and lots and lots of Great Tits, Blue Tits, Robin, Redwings, Fieldfares etc
Vital winter habitats were viewed with the winter wild-bird seed plots almost over.
Interesting too were the 'Farmland Feeders' with 5 feeding ports CLICK HERE
The Big Farmland Bird Count is just around the corner — if you want to get involved and/or you would like a volunteer to pop in and take a count then contact Nicola — firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, if you want to discuss Countryside Stewardship Schemes — then also contact Nicola.
Our thanks to Seumus and happy bird counting all of you!!