Today I headed north !! For weeks I have been promising myself a visit to the "north" of the county and today was the day it happened. Although the weather forecast was not good it was my only free day for a while.
First stop was Burn Coppice just outside Deenethorpe village, an area which I haven't visited for a while. I spent over an hour wandering along the bridle track whilst scanning the hedgerows and trees. This is a good area for viewing Red Kites and today was no exception. Despite the light rain and gloomy light these birds brightened the day with their graceful flight and evocative calls.
The air was filled with another favourite call of mine as a flock of 9 Pink Footed Geese flew over heading northwards.
I was almost back to my car when I realised that the Chaffinches were not happy birds and on scanning the hedgerow I could see the cause of this......the Great Grey Shrike, which sat up briefly before disappearing behind the hedge ! I never saw it again.
My next venue was Blatherwyke churchyard. What an amazing area and I was staggered by the amount of birds around the churchyard. Plenty of common species, notably winter thrushes, tits and finches. As I walked towards the church I saw the distinctive shape of two Hawfinch which were perched on the treetops against the skyline. It is such a pity that it was such a dull day as it was difficult to appreciate their colour. The churchyard itself was carpeted in snowdrops and gives a different vantage point for looking at the lake itself.
There were at least 14 Mandarin Duck visible around the edge of the lake, 2 Egyptian Geese, a few Siskin and of course plenty of Red Kite.
I then went to Wakerley Wood where a good walk around produced very little. It was extremely quiet. Great Spotted Woodpeckers were vocal with their drumming as were the Long Tailed Tits with their chattering as they moved through the trees. There just seemed to be the "odd" Siskin and Redpoll flying about. My highlight was two Roe Deer and a Fox !.
I finished my day out with a good walk around Fineshade Wood where I covered a lot of ground but saw very little. Again it was very quiet with the highlight being 4 Ravens .