The sun was shining this afternoon so I took some bird food down to the feeding track at Rindle Road, Astley. The track has been used for feeding birds for some years now and Leigh Ornithological Society (L.O.S.) are one of the main contributors of food along with a few other generous individual birders.
It was nice to meet up with Dave Thacker at the feeding track as I hadn't seen him for quite some time. Dave is an avid birder and he almost treats this area as if it is his own back garden. He is very knowledgeable about all wildlife matters, particularly in this area and so we had a good chat about such things. And it turns out that Dave is now a grandad, so congratulations to him, his daughter and family.
Whilst I chewed the fat with Dave we saw a Brambling, a Yellowhammer, a Jay, two Willow Tits as well as several Blue Tits, Great Tits and Chaffinches.
After Dave had left to go the dentist, I took some bird food down to the track. Unfortunately the hanging feeders have been stolen several times in the past and so recently L.O.S. had put just one more feeder there - it was with some dismay that I noticed that it had been taken yet again. The only way to combat this is to spread the food on the floor and that is indeed what I did.
I then viewed the track from a distance using my scope, getting good views of all the birds previously mentioned but particularly good views of the Brambling which was my target bird for today. A couple of Collared Doves, a Robin and a Blackbird also put in an appearance just before I went back to the car for my camera.
When I returned a Buzzard was circling low over Rindle Wood but I was quick enough to get a photo before it disappeared behind the trees. I took a few photos of the birds feeding on the track, but the sun was very low and quite harsh, casting shadows over parts of the birds - nevertheless I got a few record shots of the Brambling.
I then walked down towards Rindle Wood in the hope of seeing some different birds but there were very few about. So after only fifteen minutes I decided to go back to the feeding track and take some photos from a different viewpoint. By now a Mistle Thrush was making quite a lot of noise in the tallest birch tree and two Tree Sparrows, two Greenfinches and a single Goldfinch were feeding on the track along with the Brambling and other birds. As I took more photos along the feeding track, I noticed a Kestrel land on another of the taller trees and a second Mistle Thrush chased the first one out of the tree. There were also a lot of Woodpigeons flying over the fields in this area.
The last two birds I saw today were a pair of Fieldfare which flew swiftly out of Rindle Wood, over the feeding track and into the hawthorn hedge along Rindle Road.