Friday, 27 September 2013

Hidden birds!

Hello

A change in the weather down here in Cornwall saw a very blustery ESE wind and milky sunshine.

A rather frustrating day inasmuch that it was obvious there were plenty of migrants about but with the bushes being tossed around most of the passerines kept a very low profile.

With the sunshine there were plenty of common butterflies about and still quite a number of the huge and loud Large Green Bush-Crickets.

An early morning wander around the leafy suburbs of Penzance provided only a Grey Wagtail or two.

The Hayle Estuary was a little disappointing as the high tide failed to push the estuary birds close enough for really good views.  Common waders and wildfowl were present in reasonable numbers and an assortment of gulls included at least nine Mediterraneans.  A couple of territorial Grey Wagtails were vying for the best part of the sluice gates.

A visit to Pendeen provided a walk to the hidden beach towards Zennor.  Birds included Raven, plenty of passing Gannets and the passerines included good numbers of Wheatear plus Stonechat, Rock Pipit, Chiffchaff and a couple of Spotted Flycatchers.

This afternoon was spent exploring Kenidjack Valley near St Just.  Four lee-ward feeding Spotted Flycatchers provided an indication of what might have been hiding in the wind-torn vegetation; Chiffchaffs could be heard calling but were keeping out of view!  A group of five Choughs overflew the valley a couple of times.

A re-visit to the Hayle Estuary this evening provided a distant and brief view of a Black-winged Stilt in a channel, apparently found just after we left this morning!

Regards

Eleanor and Neil


 
Mediterranean Gull

 
Grey Wagtail

 
Raven

 
Red Admiral

 
Chough

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Heading South West

Hello

Early this morning we commenced the long drive to Penzance in Cornwall, the first leg of our journey to visit one of our favourite places, the Isles of Scilly.

To break the journey up we walked for a couple of hours in Great Haldon Forest near Exeter (Devon), before pushing on towards the Penzance area.

Low cloud, mist and a little rain persisted over much of the south west today and Great Haldon was a touch drippy and dank!  Nevertheless Goldcrests were calling from everywhere and a good number of shrill-sounding Chiffchaffs flicked up from the bracken or trailed tit flocks.  Small numbers of Nuthatch, Siskin and redpoll sp were about and the usual Crossbills were just heard today.  The raptor watch-point was redundant due to the weather!

Long Rock beach just east of Penzance is the local dog exercise beach, and that's where we were early this afternoon exercising the Collies!  Dogs of all shapes and sizes bounded up and away but our two remained fixated on their games in the sea and on the sand.  Birds included Rock Pipit, and several Wheatear and White Wagtail as well as a small flock of Bar-tailed Godwits and a Peregrine.

Less than a mile up the beach is Marazion.  The small RSPB reserve there held Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Stonechat, Wheatear, Rock Pipit, Cetti's Warbler, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Little Egret, a Raven and two Peregrines screaming about.  An evening scan at The Hayle was unproductive, the best birds being Little Egret, Green Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher.

With luck we hope to bird some of the Cornish coves tomorrow before embarking on the Scillonian III on Saturday morning.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil


 
Bar-tailed Godwits in the mist!

 
A cameo shot of the Pied
Flycatcher when the sun
did come out!  Unfortunately
the bird remained in thick
vegetation.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Short thrift

Hello

Not much opportunity for birding today.  This evening there were 2 Ravens and 4 Whinchats at the southern end of the Blueberry Farm complex.

Also this evening, a scan from the yacht club at Pitsford Res provided a Little Egret, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls, 2 Greenshanks and 7 Ringed Plovers.

A ringing session at Stortons GP on Sunday morning provided 2 Blackcaps, 2 Reed Warblers, a Chiffchaff and 2 superb Kingfishers!

Regards

E & N

Monday, 23 September 2013

Murky Monday

Hello

In somewhat dull and murky conditions today, visits to some of our regular venues provided some  birds of interest.

At Harrington Airfield this morning there was a male Marsh Harrier hunting the top fields plus a Red Kite, a Turtle Dove, 2 Whinchats and a Wheatear.  Two Ravens and a Red Kite were noted at Beck Dairy, Cottesbrooke.

At Blueberry Farm this afternoon, birds included a Red Kite, a Hobby and 4+ Whinchats.

Scanning north of the causeway at Pitsford Res this afternoon was sufficient to see the Ruddy Shelduck (present at 6pm until spooked by a low-flying balloon), 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, 5 Little Egrets, a Redshank, a Snipe and a Kingfisher.  There were as many as 10 Chiffchaffs in the bushes by the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station.

Regards

E & N

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Week-end update

Hello

On Saturday evening birds in the Blueberry Farm area included a Short-eared Owl, a female Peregrine and 6 Whinchats.

This morning (Sunday) and birds located at Harrington Airfield included a Turtle Dove, a Wheatear and 2 Whitethroats.  There was a heavy diurnal movement of Skylark, Meadow Pipit and hirundines and good numbers of Yellowhammer on-site.

Birds noted north of the causeway at Pitsford Res this morning included 5 Little Egrets, a Raven and 2 Hobbies and there was also a heavy passage of hirundines here too.  A ringing session based at the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station caused over fifty birds to be caught and processed, the highlights being a Spotted Flycatcher, a Meadow Pipit, Tree Sparrows, a Reed Warbler and 6 Chiffchaffs.

Looking up this week-end and it was impossible not to notice an increase in flying machines, apparently in preparation for a flying event based at Sywell next week-end.

A couple of Siskins were present at Hanging Houghton and the buddleia was alive with butterflies including Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and others.  A scour of the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton and up to Blueberry Farm (Maidwell) this afternoon produced some good birds including a juvenile Marsh Harrier which flew towards Haselbech at 4pm, a male Merlin, 2 Hobbies, 2 Red Kites, 4+ Whinchats and 2 Whitethroats.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil





 
Comma

 
Spotted Flycatcher

 
Treecreeper

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Pitsford WeBS

Hello

This morning was taken up completing the monthly WeBs count at Pitsford Res.  Despite significant disturbance there were good numbers of wildfowl present particularly Wigeon, Gadwall and Shoveler.  Highlights included ca11 Little Egrets, a Ruddy Shelduck, a Bar-headed Goose, a Garganey, 3 Goldeneye, 3 Pintail, a Ruff, 2 Greenshank, 4 Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper and a Grey Wagtail.  Overhead migrants included plenty of Meadow Pipits, a few Siskins and a flock of 14 Ringed Plovers flying south at 12.30pm.  Late hatch butterflies including Small Copper were attracted to flowering mint in the margins.

Regards

E & N

Friday, 20 September 2013

Ditchford WeBS

Hello

Today we visited Ditchford GP to complete the monthly WeBS count.  In pleasant broken sunshine there were plenty of insects on the wing including plenty of common butterflies and dragonflies.  However birds were a little scarce and our observations were modest with the more interesting birds being 1-2 Hobby, a Yellow-legged Gull, a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, a Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, 6 or so Kingfishers, 4 Cetti's Warblers and a Grey Wagtail.  Small numbers of summer migrants included a few Yellow Wagtail, Chiffchaff and Blackcap.  Waterfowl numbers were unremarkable but included a hundred Wigeon.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil


 
Painted Lady


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Hysterical Hobby's!

Today my birding has been confined to the valley below HH and Blueberry Area. My morning walk was quiet with only 2 Ravens and a Red Kite.  Late afternoon/early evening was far more productive, and the weather was much better, sun and wind, the perfect recipe for raptors, and they didn't disappoint !!.  I lost count how many Common Buzzard I saw and heard, such an evocative call and they were clearly enjoying themselves. The rather stunning "white" Buzzard perched on the top of a tree watching the world go by, and there were 2 Red Kites and a female Peregrine in the area.
Over the last few days there have been hundreds of House Martins and Swallows feeding low over the fields etc, in preparation for their long journey south. This was the sight at Blueberry today, and whilst I stood around to let my collie companion have a rest I became aware of the alarm calls of the hirundines as they quickly gathered themselves together and gained height. However chaos soon ensued as 2 Hobby powered in and began hunting. The 2 Hobby were clearly working together and became very vocal with almost "scream" like calls. It wasn't long before one of them had caught their prey and they both flew off together. I'm glad that it was daylight as they sounded pretty scarey.  I had witnessed this before, many years ago at Pitsford Reservoir.
There were at least 8 Whinchat in their usual field, at one time 4 were perched together on a tiny weed stem with a couple of others trying to join them !!  Quite entertaining to watch.

Regards  Eleanor

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Pitsford pm

Hello

A further excursion was made to Pitsford Res this afternoon and evening, with a few further species noted.  This afternoon there was an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a Goldeneye in the Scaldwell Bay.  At about 4.50pm in blustery conditions, Pink-footed Geese could be heard calling and were eventually located flying west very high up.  The flock comprised of 31 birds.

This evening the Ruddy Shelduck was still in the Pintail Bay and there were approximately 5 Yellow-legged Gulls in the gull roost off the yacht club.

Regards

Neil M


 
Mute Swan

 
Going away view of
Pink-footed Geese!


 
Adult Yellow-legged Gull
showing evidence of
significant wing moult.


Autumn migration in full swing

Hello

This morning birds at Blueberry Farm (Maidwell) and immediate surround included 2 Short-eared Owls, a Hobby, a Red Kite, 6 Whinchat and 14 Golden Plovers flew over.

Birds noted north of the causeway at Pitsford Res this morning included 1-2 Hobby, 4 Little Egrets and a Whinchat.  A ringing session at the Old Scaldwell Road Feeding Station provided in excess of eighty birds, the majority of which were new birds and hatched this year.  Thirty-one House Martins and twenty-two Tree Sparrows dominated, but there was a reasonable show of warblers with five Chiffchaffs, a late Willow Warbler, a Blackcap, a Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler.

Regards

E & N

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Rained Off !

Very little to report today. A wander at Harrington Airfield, before the rain came produced a male Merlin and a Wheatear.  There were around 100+ linnets which may prove attractive to the Merlin.
A quick look at Pitsford provided a Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper and 8+ Little Egrets.  Although plenty of wildfowl present in the Scaldwell Bay I couldn't locate anything of note.

Regards Eleanor

Monday, 16 September 2013

Creatures of Pitsford

Hello

Today at Pitsford Res birds south of the causeway included a Ruddy Shelduck (amongst the geese in the Pintail Bay), 3-4 Common Sandpipers, 6+ Little Egrets, a Hobby and 2 Grey Wagtails.

Birds north of the causeway included a Goldeneye, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Little Egrets, a Spotted Flycatcher, 1-2 Hobby, and a Merlin was reported.  Early morning sunshine provided plenty of energy light for insects and butterflies in the protection of the trees in the Scaldwell Bay.

House Martins were again evident in reasonable numbers today often using the leeward side of bushes and trees for shelter and aerial feeding.  However, they are designed as higher altitude feeders and flying low puts them in danger from predators.  Several attacks from Hobbies were witnessed today, at least one which was successful.

Birds in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton and around the south-side of the Blueberry Farm complex produced a female Peregrine, 2 Red Kites, a Hobby and 6 Whinchats.  Two or three Grey Wagtails were at Brixworth Sewer Works.

The gull roost at Pitsford Res this evening produced a first winter Mediterranean Gull and two Yellow-legged Gulls.

Regards

Eleanor & Neil


 
Good numbers of
Little Egret are currently
on-site at Pitsford

 
Wasps attracted to the
sap of a recently-felled
Crack Willow

 
Red Admiral

 
Speckled Wood

 
Juvenile House Martin

 
Adult House Martin


 
Adult Hobby with just-caught
juvenile House Martin, the latter
probably no more than a few
weeks out of the nest.  It evaded
capture with a series of manoeuvres
but was eventually captured by the
more mature hunter.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

House Martin

Hello

This morning an amble at Harrington Airfield provided only a Wheatear, a Hobby and 3 Grey Partridges.

At lunchtime a female Peregrine was cruising towards the south end of the Blueberry Farm complex and at least 6 Whinchats were still present.

At Pitsford Res this afternoon, birds noted north of the causeway included a Goldeneye, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, a Hobby, a Whinchat and a Spotted Flycatcher.  However the bird of the day was the House Martin with hundreds present at the reservoir, taking shelter and feeding around the reservoir edges.  Only a few Sand Martins and Swallows were caught up within the flock.  Twenty-two House Martins were caught and ringed this afternoon.

Regards

Eleanor and Neil


 
Common Buzzards
Harrington Airfield

 
Juvenile House Martin
Pitsford Res.  The broad
white tertial tips help to
age this bird.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

September afternoon

Hello

This afternoon and a visit to Pitsford Res north of the causeway produced 10 Little Egrets, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Greenshank, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and 2 Whinchats.

Blueberry Farm this evening was quiet with six Whinchats on show in the southern-most field of the complex.  A Short-eared Owl was seen in one of the fields further north but we managed to successfully miss it!  However we didn't miss the stunning red sunset.

Regards

E & N

Harrington am

Hello

An amble around Harrington Airfield this morning after the rain provided a Redstart (in bushes on the LHS next to the concrete track 200m before the shooting wall), a Wheatear, a Whitethroat, a Golden Plover and an adult Hobby.

Regards

E & N

Friday, 13 September 2013

Pitsford and stuff

Hello

A short ringing session in the Scaldwell Bay at Pitsford Res this morning produced only a modest catch but included 3 Kingfishers, 5 Meadow Pipits, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps and a Reed Warbler.  Other migrants noted included a Grey Wagtail, a Whinchat, a Spotted Flycatcher, a couple of latish Willow Warblers and there were young Reed Warblers still being fed by adults in the reeds.  The waterfowl included three Pintail, and a Green Sandpiper, a Little Egret and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were visible from the James Fisher Hide.  At least one Raven flew over calling.

Eleanor went for a long run this morning, notching up 2 Ravens and a couple of Red Kites near Hanging Houghton, several Crossbills and 2 Grey Wagtails at Haselbech Hill and a Grey Wagtail at Beck Dairy, Cottesbrooke.

Regards

Neil M

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Birds, what birds ???

I have had two very quiet days of birdwatching , so much so that I'm struggling to find any birds to report.  The usual Red Kites and Common Buzzard are about at Harrington and Blueberry, and goodness knows how many Little Egrets at Pitsford. I think I must have been half asleep today at Pitsford as I walked around the bigside as I failed to locate anything apart from a Ruddy Shelduck.
Anyway the "second in command" has returned from his ringing exploits in Portugal which I'm sure he will be posting about.

Regards Eleanor

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Local birding

I spent a couple of hours at Harrington airfield first thing this morning. The bushes were quiet and the Whitethroats and Willow Warblers have dwindled down to just a couple of birds. Their place has been taken by an ever increasing flock of Linnet and Goldfinch, probably numbering about 200 birds, quite a sight and sound.
A single Turtle Dove was present and a Marsh Harrier hunting over the "game cover" towards the pond, plus 2 Red Kite and numerous Kestrels and Common Buzzard.
A word of warning if you are planning a visit to Harrington as they are busy turning the fields and muck spreading.  It absolutely stinks, it is quite stomach churning and also the main concrete track is covered in it. My main problem this morning was trying to birdwatch whilst stopping one of my collies from rolling in it......I think it is his favourite perfume!!!
I then spent quite a while at Pitsford  as I still think that it has great potential. The problem is that the birds are well scattered. I started at the dam where there were literally hundreds of swallows adorning the wires as they prepare to head south.  On a muddy spit below the Pitsford village carpark there were 2 Ruff, a Greenshank, 2 Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper.
I fed the birds at the feeding station and noted that there was a good number of Tree Sparrows, plus Yellow Hammers, Greenfinches and Goldfinches.
I then headed down the back of the Scaldwell Bay and from the new James Fisher Hide there were a group of 6 Little Egret sitting in a cluster, looking as if they were having a conversation with each other !! Also from here 2 Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Red Crested Pochard and a Goldeneye.  The numbers of Gadwall, Wigeon and Shovelar appear to have increased.  There was also a male Ruddy Duck.  From here I walked around the back of the bay and just beyond the ringing hut I flushed a Tree Pipit, I don't know who was more surprised, me or it .
The Walgrave Bay looked quite empty of wildfowl, but there were at least 4 other Little Egret present.
A walk from the causeway to the gorsebushes was quiet apart from 2 further Greenshank, 2 or 3 Common Sandpiper and at least 3 Little Egret !  I've no idea how many Little Egret are present at the moment.
This evening I spent in the valley below HH and walked to Blueberry Farm.  A single Wheatear was perched on the stack of bales and there were at least 6 Whinchat flitting about on the tall grass stems/small bushes in the southern most field of Blueberry.

Regards Eleanor

Monday, 9 September 2013

Magical Merlin !!

I've been waiting for a wet day in order to keep me indoors to do some of the household chores which I've been putting off !! So I managed very little birding today.
Below Hanging Houghton this morning were 2 Ravens and at least 3 Red Kites and this afternoon in the valley the 4 Whinchat were in their usual place and also in the general area was the "white" Common Buzzard, Osprey and Hobby.  But star bird was a male Merlin, seen twice whizzing around the fields before he headed off towards Blueberry area.

Regards Eleanor

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Weekend Wanderings

Despite being out and about over the weekend I'm afraid that the most success I had was getting caught in the sudden and heavy rain showers !!!
Yesterday a walk at Harrington was very quiet apart from 2 Red Kite and a Turtle Dove.  Pitsford was equally as quiet with the 2 Red Crested Pochards, Goldeneye, 6 Little Egret, 2 Greenshank and 3 Common Sandpiper present.
I hoped that Blueberry might save the day, but sadly not. My arrival coincided with a heavy downpour which put paid to the birds.
Today was somewhat better.  An early morning jog around Pitsford was rather pleasant and I easily notched up 8 Little Egrets. Then a wander in the Scaldwell bay produced 2 Red Crested Pochards, Goldeneye, Green Sandpiper and at least 4 Sandpiper. However the presence of a boat successfully emptied the bay of birds before I had finished scanning. The birds went everywhere so I've no idea what might have been there.
Late morning found me at Harrington Airfield where it was extremely quiet and I glimpsed a Turtle Dove.
I found myself back at Pitsford at 14.00hrs , just as an Osprey was circling over the causeway before heading off towards the back of the Scaldwell Bay.
Late this afternoon found me along the valley between HH and Cottesbrooke where again I timed it perfectly and again got caught up in a heavy shower !!!   As the dogs were tired and wet I stood watching from the southmost field of the Blueberry complex.  I'd even got my "new scope" with me and it performed really well . Mind you the 4 Whinchat were so close that I nearly didn't see them !!!  Whilst scanning the area I picked up a Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Red Kite and a Wheatear.
So that's another weekend over.....and a whole new week lies ahead. Hope it's a good one.

Regards  Eleanor

Friday, 6 September 2013

Friday's

The day had that feel of " there should be a good bird around", as it was drizzly, murky and no wind.......but despite trying hard I failed to locate it !!
An early morning wander at Harrington produced the usual Marsh Harrier , numerous Whitethroats and a single Golden Plover flying over calling.
At lunchtime I was at Pitsford Reservoir where there was a scattering of waders, 2 Greenshank, 1 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper and at least 4 Common Sandpiper. Again there was at least 6 Little Egret visible, plus a Goldeneye and the 2 Red Crested Pochard which were literally just infront of the New James Fisher Hide.
Late afternoon/early evening was again spent around the Blueberry /valley between HH and Cottesbrooke. Infact weather wise this was the best part of the day, lovely Autumn sunshine followed by a glorious sunset.  It almost felt a bit like ticking off a register as I said hello to the usual 4 Whinchat and Marsh Harrier. I feel as if I'm on first name terms with these regulars !!!  The Marsh Harrier was again quartering the largest field of the Blueberry complex and I watched it from 18.15hrs until 19.15hrs when it appeared to go to roost in the bushes.  The 4 Whinchat I discovered yesterday were again present this evening, again in this big field, so a total of 8 Whinchat seen.
Other birds included a Red Kite, Hobby, Little Owls and a superb "blue" Sparrowhawk.
But one of the highlights was two young Barn Owls sitting out together looking across the fields and they looked beautiful with the weak sunshine on them.

Regards  Eleanor

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Mid Week Round Up

The last two days seem to have flown by and my birding has been confined to Pitsford, Harrington and Blueberry area.
The water level at Pitsford is gradually falling, which in turn is producing some interesting muddy margins which hopefully will be attractive to any waders passing through.  Yesterday morning there were 2 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper and a Ruff on the bigside. The most Little Egret I could see at any one time was 6. From the feeding station the Goldeneye and 2 Red Crested Pochard were visible.
The valley below HH was quiet apart from the 4 Whinchat.

This morning I went out early with the dogs as it promised to be a very hot day, and by 07.30hrs I had watched a Swift and Whimbrel fly over, and the usual Marsh Harrier was frequenting the area near the pond.  The bushes appeared quiet except for 2 Turtle Doves and plenty of Whitethroats. 
Late this afternoon, once it had cooled down I walked a large circuit taking in the valley between HH and Cottesbrooke and Blueberry Area.   The 4 Whinchat were in their usual spot as I set off.  I decided to walk around the largest field of the complex and sat on the top of the hill taking in the breathtaking view.  At 19.00 a Marsh Harrier flew over heading towards Haselbeech, but after a few minutes headed back and appeared to be heading towards Harrington.  We know from experience that birds fly between these two areas on a regular basis.  A Hobby, Red Kite and the rather striking " White Buzzard" were also in this area.
Then to my surprise I located 4 Whinchat in an area of the field which I haven't walked for a while, so not sure how long they have been present.  I was in a bit of a dilemma, "were these the regular 4 Whinchats" which I have been watching or a completely new group?   So with the light fading fast and me running, or trying to run as my collie thought I was playing so he was nipping me and slowing me down !!  Anyway we made it back to the usual field and the 4 Whinchat were still where I'd left them earlier, so it would seem that there are at least 8 Whinchat on the Blueberry complex.  And to finish the day a beautiful sunset and red sky.

Regards   Eleanor

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Tuesday''s Tidings

Another beautiful Autumn day, but sadly I couldn't spend as much time out birding as I wanted due to the mundane chores of shopping, housework etc !!
My birding centred around walking the dogs.  Although quiet for passerines today Harrington did provide Osprey, juv Marsh Harrier, 2 Red Kites, Hobby and 2 Turtle Doves.
The fields below HH which were alive with birds yesterday were lifeless, such a contrast.  But the 4 Whinchat remain faithful to "their" chosen field.

Tomorrow evening the Northamptonshire Bird Club will be meeting after their summer break.  It promises to be an excellent talk from Richard Chandler about "Endemic Waders and other birds in New Zealand".   Everyone is welcome, old faces and new faces.  Venue as usual, Moulton Village Hall, Pound Land, Moulton.  7.30pm for a 8pm start.  See you there !

Regards Eleanor

Monday, 2 September 2013

The start of the week ....

It has been a strange day. I was up at 03.30hrs and took Neil, John and Helen to Luton airport ready for their early morning flight to Portugal where they will be ringing.
On my way home I decided to run around Salcey Forest !! yes, I'm totally bonkers at times. It was just before 7am when I started my run following the Woodpecker Trail, but the only Woodpeckers I heard were Great Spotted. It was a case of using my ears rather than my eyes, and on my run I heard lots of very vocal Nuthatches, several Marsh Tit and disturbed a flock of around 20 Crossbill.
A lunchtime wander along to the feeding station at Pitsford failed to find anything different, just 3 Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and a Goldeneye.
Autumn is my favourite time of year and late this afternoon found me walking the dogs along the valley below Hanging Houghton and Cottesbrooke. It was actually quite busy with farm machinery as the last of the crops are being harvested as well as the already cut fields now being scuffled and ploughed.  It was these fields which were particularly attractive to the birds. I found a nice comfy patch of grass to sit on and watch the birds whilst my collie companions watched the tractors !!!   The fields were alive with Black Headed and Lesser Black Backed Gulls, Lapwings, Skylarks, Starlings and Corvids which included 2 Ravens.  The Raptors were also present, namely Kestrels, Common Buzzards[lots!], 2 Red Kite and a juv Marsh Harrier. There was so much going on. I just wish that I could capture the sound of the birds calling, especially the Red Kite + Raven, as well as the lovely deep earthy smell of the freshly turned soil.
Nearby the 4 Whinchat were present in their usual field.

Regards  Eleanor

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Quiet Times

Sometimes you just know that it is going to be one of those "quiet" days and no matter how hard you try you are not going to find anything new. Today was one such day.
An early morning walk at Harrington Airfield was a rather quiet affair, only producing a Hobby and Red Kite.
The 4 Whinchats were in their usual field between HH and Cottesbrooke and there were 2 Kingfishers along the nearby stream.
Birds over the garden were few and far between, the highlight being a Hobby.
At Pitsford Reservoir this evening there was a Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Snipe, 4 Little Egret, 3 Yellow Legged Gulls and a Goldeneye.

Regards Eleanor + Neil