The mist was hanging over the valley below Hanging Houghton this morning as I set off for a supposedly "quick "circuit around Blueberry Farm area. Three hours and three tired dogs later I returned home !!!
Some of the hedgerows were literally alive with birds which meant that I couldn't draw myself away and simply scanned the birds as they moved about. Over the years I have been birding at Blueberry it has become apparent that some hedgerows are more favoured by the birds and thus more productive for attracting Redstarts etc. This morning was no exception and I notched up 4 Redstarts, 5+ Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, with numerous Whitethroats, Willow Warbler, and Blackcaps. There appeared to be quite a heavy passage of Meadow Pipits over the weedy fields and there were at least 8 Whinchat scattered over these fields.
Raptors included a female Peregrine, Hobby and the rather stunning "white" Common Buzzard. Two Ravens and 2 Grey Wagtails flew overhead.
After a rather late breakfast I headed for Harrington Airfield and just walked out on the "rough" strip of land with one of the dogs as I was en-route to the vet with her. Initially it seemed quiet but then the large flock of Linnet and Goldfinch appeared and the air was filled with their chattering. Here too large numbers of Meadow Pipit were flying over and also Skylarks were evident. There were 2 Wheatears, a Whinchat and a Redstart around the first bunker and when I returned to my car there were 2 Whinchat by the compound.
This afternoon on a brief visit to Pitsford I saw the Great White Egret and 7 Red-crested Pochard in the Scaldwell Bay.
This evening I went back to some of the productive hedgerows at Blueberry Farm but they were eerily quiet.