Another beautiful Autumn morning lured me and my 4 legged companions to Harrington Airfield where an early morning saunter lasting two and a half hours proved very productive.
At the moment I have two dogs with gammy legs so I am having to walk very slowly and take plenty of rests, but rather than hinder me this is providing me with better birding opportunities and often whilst we are stationary the bird[s] literally pop out of the bushes and "give themselves up "!
I must admit that when I started off this morning the airfield had the appearance of being quiet as the bushes along the main track seemed ominously silent, whereas these bushes have been busy with birds, especially Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Linnet.
Anyway at about 07.45hrs I had a mad 5 minutes as I stood scanning the bushes around the shooting wall. There was a small bird flock which included a female type Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and a first for me at Harrington, a Pied Flycatcher. Whilst watching these the Marsh Harrier flew over !! Amazing, you just never know what is going to turn up at this site. Yesterday I saw nothing at all and less than 24 hours later all these birds and more.
I continued to the end of the track and deviated along the grassy track off to the left and the Grasshopper Warbler was singing and 2 Turtle Doves came out of the bushes.
On my way back I checked the rough grassy strip which joins the main track to the rough area with the obvious bunkers. There have been several Redstart in these bushes for a while, but they can be elusive. I saw a male Redstart here this morning. He was calling very quietly and flittered around the bushes and again I only saw him because I was letting the dogs have a rest !!
I saw the Marsh Harrier again at about 08.45hrs and other raptors included Red Kites, Common Buzzards and Hobby. A brief stop to pick some blackberries which we will be having for tea tonight and home for a much needed cup of coffee.
Already this morning over the garden there has been 2 Crossbills, Grey Wagtail and Raven.