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.