Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tree Sparrows on Springside stubble

A couple of days cycling around the Kilmarmock area looking for Tree Sparrows paid off today along the disused railway line between Knockentiber and Springside with a site record count of 62 birds in a single flock. They were feeding in barley stubble with c20 Yellowhammers and c60 Chaffinches and resting in hawthorn scrub and beech trees. This surpasses the last high count of 55 here on 7 October 1995 and is probably the biggest Ayrshire flock since 1990. Good to know they are still clinging on in the area. Also 48 Greylags here yesterday and 30 Fieldfare, 50+ Skylark, 7 Bullfinches and 540 Rooks today. A Redwing was heard uttering a lovely bubbling subsong too.

Elsewhere: 7 Red-breasted Mergansers in freshwater on the River Irvine between Holmsford and the GSK factory; Goosander on the River Irvine at Gatehead; 320 Wigeon at Capringstone; Peregrine over Onthank PS and 31 Long-tailed Tits at Kilmarnock Academy this morning. Male Tufted Duck still on Kay Park pond.

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