After many days of continuous rain, it was good to wake at last to a brighter morning. I was delighted to come across a mixed flock of c.150-200 finches close to home, flying from an overgrown hedgerow in and out of a field of winter kale, reduced to stumps by the sheep. (NT997257) The flock consisted of Chaffinches and Bramblings, with a few Tree Sparrows thrown in for good measure. Some beautiful brightly coloured Male Bramblings lit up the hedge while they were 'resting', and observation of the flock in flight suggested 30-40% of the birds had white rumps; once they landed of course they virtually disappeared as they 'melted' into the muddy field.
A few hundred metres away towards Middleton Hall, another mixed flock graced the tops of the trees bordering the field- this time of Scandinavian thrushes, c50 Redwings and Fieldfares. Meanwhile in the tree above my head, three Mistle Thrushes were involved in a noisy squabble...maybe rival suitors?...... they are early-season breeders after all.