It's worth checking out your local stands of Beech for Bramblings at the moment. I discovered a small flock above Withens Clough last Monday in pretty poor weather conditions. I had intended to look for the Crossbills that had been reported in Sunderland Pasture but the mist and drizzle made it a no goer, so discovering a flock of Bramblings en route was a welcome diversion.
A return visit on Saturday in order to try for better pictures came to nowt. Although I had a few sporadic flyovers of what may (?) have been bramblings, I wasn't able to locate the 20 - 30 strong flock of last Monday. There is still mast on the trees, but it is difficult to say how much of it still bore seed, and how much had already been plundered.
Driving home, I was cosidering posting a heads-up for winter wagtail roosts, when I drove straight into one.......Tescos car park at King Cross. I don't know how many birds are coming in to roost as many were already in bed when I came across them. I would estimate around 150 but this could be wide of the mark.
I counted 200 going into a larger tree by the Woolshops on October 14th 2007 and in Manchester in the late 90's I seem to remember around 500 going into a single tree outside the BBC.
This time, the birds were congregating on Tescos roof, probably around 4.00 - 4.15 and going into the tree between the car wash and the zebra crossing. There was plenty of traffic, people using the crossing and two guys making plenty of noise washing cars right next to the tree, but the birds did not seem the least bothered.
Standing beneath the tree, watching the birds jostling for position, I could almost reach up and touch them. Amazing site!