Trans-Pennine Trail 20.10.15

Occasionally bright, with warm sunny intervals

About a dozen members of TT met with great difficulty in the car park at the end of Atlantic Street in Broadheath, the difficulty being that the car park seemed to be full to capacity even before our arrival. Having calmed the agitation that was evident and discussed the arrangements for the next meet, the group sallied forth onto the Trans-Pennine trail on another bright(ish) and definitely dry expedition.

Although there seemed to be quite a lot of birdsong around, the birds themselves seemed somewhat elusive, hiding themselves in the undergrowth and trees, which continue to hold onto their still green leaves. Initially, few sightings were made apart from the wood pigeons, corvids and robins – but with great relief a cry of ‘lapwings!’ circulated around the group – followed soon after by the sight of a jay busily finding food across the field. A path on the left was taken, leading the group down to the canal- but not before a buzzard had been spotted in the distance. Pheasants in a field caused a moment of excitement, but not so much as flocks of winter thrushes flying high above. It soon became evident how valuable telescopes could be on such days as this, when redwings were picked out in a distant hedge, along with blackbirds and goldfinches, followed by a kestrel hovering high above a nearby wood. Just as the group were about to leave the canal path to join the road, a flock of mixed titmice-mainly long-tails-flitted from tree to tree. Good sightings were soon gained of the kestrel, now sitting on the branches of a tall tree and pied wagtails hopped about on the field nearby. Moving on, some members of the group had spotted a pair of yellowhammers as they bounced along a hedgerow before dipping into a field of stubble. Feeling more satisfied with the morning’s birding the way now led back down to the Trans-Pennine Trail, where a huge flock of starlings were seen perching on wires and feeding on the ground below.

Lunch now called, so back to the cars for all those who had stayed the course – but not before a mistle thrush showed itself to some, while others were treated to the sight of a sparrowhawk being mobbed by crows. (MH)

Bird List (MH)
1. Buzzard
2. Sparrowhawk
3. Kestrel
4. Carrion crow
5. Jackdaw
6. Magpie
7. Jay
8. Black-headed gull
9. Lapwing
10. Wood pigeon
11. Pheasant
12. Mallard
13. Blackbird
14. Redwing
15. Mistle thrush
16. Robin
17. Wren
18. Blue tit
19. Great tit
20. Long-tailed tit
21. Goldfinch
22. Pied wagtail
23. Yellowhammer
24. Starling

.. plus one late-flying comma.

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