Yesterday I had a "county tick" ??? ........after seeing many squashed heaps of fur on our roads I finally saw a live Polecat near Cottesbrooke !!!!!
Today's birding has been combined with dog walking and running errands. At Harrington Airfield this morning there was a Redstart and 2 Whinchat keeping me company around the compound area whilst I picked some blackberries. It certainly seems to be a good year for blackberries as the hedgerows are laden and they are just calling out to be picked and eaten, both by the birds and ourselves.
The rough area appeared quiet until a covey of 8 Grey Partridge exploded just infront of me as I reached the first bunker. It was whilst I was scanning from here that I saw 2 Turtle Doves and 4 Ravens.
This afternoon I checked the hedgerow between Walgrave village and Pitsford Reservoir [ access via the footpath which runs from Bridle Road, Old] and 5 Redstarts remain, 2 rather smart males and 3 female types. They were very active flitting about on the fence posts and going down onto the grass. These birds have been very vocal and usually I can hear them as I'm walking across the fields to the hedge, but today they were strangely silent.
But the silence was broken by the evocative calls of a couple of Whimbrel as they headed over towards the reservoir.
The farmers have had to make the most of this spell of fine weather and in the valley below us it has been all systems go for the last couple of days. There are combine harvesters and an assortment of tractors, rollers and ploughs working as far as the eye can see and this has produced an influx of Red Kites, Common Buzzard, Gulls, Corvids and Passerines as the land is worked. Certainly my favourite time of the year.
Anyway whilst I was birding here tonight there was a Redstart, 4 Whinchat and a Tree Pipit at the southern most end of the Blueberry complex.
It was getting dark as I left and I was reminded of the "War of the Worlds" sci fi as I looked around and could see all the farm machinery lit up and could hear the constant hum of the combines as they prepared to work on into the night.