Saturday, 7 January 2012

Home Cottage Farm, Iver Heath - 7 January 2012

Despite a forecast for slightly strong gusts we decided to give the orchard another go, especially after seeing 150 odd Fieldfare on the ground in there on our last visit. The wind was, fortunately, not that strong, but after our last visit sheep had been moved into the area, though had been fenced off using a temporary electric fence arrangement. In the morning gloom we could see a number of white bodies moving amongst the apple trees where they should not have been. Their electric fence was rather all over the place. A couple of nets where put up and we rounded the sheep back into their section, re-tightened the fence strands and reconnected the electric fence up, where they should have stayed sound and safe. During the morning it was very evident there were a lot of Fieldfare and Redwings around with lots of birds flying around and sitting in the taller trees. Alas today their preferred feeding area rather than the orchard was the adjacent horse paddock were a mixed flock of about 300 birds were feeding on the ground. We did manage to get four Fieldfares by the end of the day, but also the sheep flock squeezed out of their enclosed area between the electric fence and the orchard boundary fence. We though they had not got as far as the nets, but one 60 had a very large sheep flock hole in it and has had to be ditched, with another two 40s repairable, though only to be become 3 panel rather than 4 panel nets, losing their lower panels due to damage also. An expensive morning and a visit probably not to be repeated if the sheep are still in the field, albeit in their fenced off section. Total for the morning was 23 birds, 20 new and 3 re-traps. Plus a Buzzard and redwing, and the surprise of the morning, a Raven flew over cronking, a rare bird in this part of Bucks.

Fieldfares - both 5s, male (left) and female (right)

Goldfinches - both 5s

Greenfinch - 5 male


Robin -1
Blackbird - 2
Fieldfare - 4
Goldcrest - 2
Long-tailed Tit - 4 (1)
Blue Tit - 0 (1)
Coal Tit - 0 (1)
Chaffinch - 1
Goldfinch -2
Greenfinch - 2