Although it was grey and overcast on the journey, it wasn't until I neared the destination that I realised that we would be having to cope with misty weather, which isn't particularly good for flying Red Kites. In the car park even though the weather was very overcast a Song Thrush could be heard singing clearly. Once we'd shared cars to the final venue there were a a few kites perched in nearby trees. The trees were absolutely swarming with birds, which on investigation proved to be Fieldfare. Some even came a little nearer and landed in some berry-laden Hawthorn bushes. Unusually, as far as we could tell there were no Redwings among the Fieldfare.We walked along the tarmac road in the direction we had just travelled. At first the trees seemed completely devoid of life, but we hadn't gone too far before we encountered a Coal Tit, and shortly afterwards both Blue and Great Tits. There was a Wren too, but we checked some birds at the top of a bare tree, and these all proved to be Barmblings. Searching more thoroughly we could see that the birds near the top of an adjacent Beech tree were also Bramblings. Looking through the stand of the trees to the fence at the back of the trees we could discern movement among the leaf litter - the whole place seemed alive with Bramblings. These were a 'lifer' for Chris, and possibly others on the course. We reached a more open field with telegraph wires, and on these were Mistle Thrushes, and another was singing nearby.
Archived Male Brambling at Home
Archived Female Brambling at Home
Archived Male Brambling at Tophill Low
The View at Lunch-time
When we returned to the cars at least 4 Red Kites were found scattered in various trees, one of which seemed to have a very noticeable white mark just below its throat. At lunch time the kites were replaced with Buzzards.For the first time the afternoon group also saw some Bramblings, but this was the only day that the Sparrowhawks didn't bother to get up!