Sizergh Hawfinches

Yesterday was spent up in Cumbria with our good friend Paul and his menagerie. We called in at Sizergh Catle car park en route to Burneside (above Kendal) in order to see if we could get a glimpse of the resident Hawfinches.
There were plenty of birds in the car park - a large flock of Redwing with Fieldfare, Blackbirds, Mistle and Song Thrushes were very much in evidence. There were plenty of Chaffinches and Tits as well as a rather demonstrative Nuthatch that called incessantly and a male Blackcap that fed on the Elderberries.
It took about ten minutes until I noticed my first Hawfinch in the trees above the visitor centre, closely followed by another three birds. They sat high in the branches before disappearing behind the centre as another bird joined them. I thought they might come back for a repeat show but it all went quiet again so we set off to Paul's place just up the road.
Meadow House is in a wonderful place on the south side of Potter Fell with fantastic views. Paul has an award winning garden with a spectacular vegetable plot and it's from here we take walks with Paul and Pip.

Paul had just extended his small-holding (ooh err missus) to include a small tract of woodland that had a Buzzard's nest in last year. They were still around as we set off - not up on the tops today, but down by the river. There was plenty of activity around - more thrushes were flying overhead and it seems that there was a big influx.

There were plenty of sloes on this blackthorn - Paul had already harvested some for his delicious Sloe Gin - but the blackberries were rather shrivelled and poor this year. We had a long chat as we strolled alongside the river coming across flocks of birds along the way before returning back for a late lunch.

We'll be back at New Year if not sooner when, hopefully, the Yellowhammers will be back.


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