Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Blustery Blueberry Birding

Today most of my birding has been around Blueberry Farm area. 
This morning I was constantly wiping my binoculars due to the heavy drizzle and I did get pretty wet, but the weather did not deter the birds.  There were literally hundreds and hundreds of Fieldfare and Redwings chattering in the hedgerows or feeding on the soggy fields. Certainly no shortage of food for them. I wasn't at all surprised when a male Peregrine put in an appearance, his presence causing panic and chaos. He didn't have a thrush for breakfast but instead a Skylark which he pursued and caught.

About an hour later as I was scanning from the shelter of a hedge I saw a female Merlin who also was in "hunting" mode and she flushed up quite a few passerines from the grass but I didn't see her catch anything. 

On my walk back I caught a very slight movement in a hedgerow and came face to face with two pairs of eyes looking at me, two Short-eared Owls. I think that they were sheltering from the weather and rather reluctantly they flew across the field [ southern most field] and sat in the hedgerow I had just walked along.  I suspect that these are very recent arrivals as I have been checking this area regularly. Other birds of note were 2 pairs of Stonechat, 2 Grey Partridge and a Barn Owl.

The larger raptors were absent this morning, not a single Kite or Buzzard.  However this afternoon it was quite a different story. It was extremely blustery with grey skies and some amazing cloud formations. At times the skies looked quite eerie and more akin to what you expect in a horror movie. Then I became aware of "shapes" twisting and turning and hanging in the air......Red Kites. The kites were flying straight into the wind and as such were seemingly being tossed about in slow motion. In the space of 30 minutes I counted a staggering 30+ Red Kites all following the same path. It really was an incredible sight and I just wish that I could have captured the atmosphere. It certainly was an exceptional sight.

They weren't the only ones being tossed about as the two Short- eared Owls were literally being blown about all over the place so I wouldn't like to say where they ended up.

Watch this space tomorrow for the latest scoreline in the Crag Martin versus birders match !!!!!!!

Regards Eleanor

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