In between a few other tasks had a good walk out on the moor. Whilst the weather wasn't particularly pleasant, it was good to be away from a computer for a while!!
The most dramatic point to come through was that the widespread, and quite large , numbers of Meadow Pipit now appear to have gone through. Numbers were less dense and more widespread. By contrast "Alba" wagtails were in good numbers, with doubtless a proportion of "Whites" in amongst them when good views could be had. Earlier, as they dispersed, Reed Buntings were quite widespread, but they now seem to be less generally distributed and in parties already. Contrasted againgst many areas on the UK mainland, our popoulation is still robust and good flocks are encountered in winter. Whilst birds are around, the quietness of the moors is now evident, although wandering flocks of Starling and Fieldfares will be around later to break the monotony! Occasional Sparrowhawk is still moving through causing havoc amongst the remaining bird parties on the moor. The "local" Hen Harriers have all but disappeared, as sightings are few and far between. I suspect they were unsuccessful this breeding season , as activity diminished quite early. The local young Buzzards appear to have moved on, temporarily or otherwise. I'm now spared the high pitched contact calls they utter from the various telegraph poles around the house which are penetrating and somewhat "wearing" after a while! You may remember I mentioned a long while ago that the local Rabbit population had suffered from myxamatosis and was much depleted. It's still not recoverd and very few individuals are seen, which must have had an obvious effect on the Buzzards in terms of food availablity , but doesn't appear to have affected the productivity with at least three young being produced this year.