Sunday, 21 August 2016

Catch Up

Apologies for late posting of my bird sightings but my laptop is really playing up and has nearly got thrown out of the window on numerous occassions !!!
Due to family commitments my birding has been confined to three main areas, Blueberry, Walgrave and Harrington.
I have certainly noticed a real "Autumnal" feel , with mist hanging in the valley below us each morning, the fields once golden now cut and turned brown after the ploughing, the hedgerows dripping with blackberries, the beautiful sunsets and the stunning new moon.  The birds moving about in noisy flocks , the gulls feeding on the fields, the air filled with the calls of the young Buzzards and the movement of Redstarts ,Chats and Marsh Harriers, all signs that Autumn is here.
On Wednesday 17th there had obviously been a "fall" of birds around the Blueberry / Valley area including a Wheatear, 2 Whinchat and a Redstart.  Two Stonechats and a Grasshopper Warbler remain at Blueberry.  Other birds seen in this area during the week include a Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Barn Owl, 2 Little Egrets fishing in the brook, 2 Ravens, Golden Plover and a significant movement of Meadow Pipit and Hirundines.
Last Autumn I discovered a very good hedgerow between the villages of Old and Walgrave leading towards Pitsford Reservoir.   I have been checking this hedge fairly regularly but it seemed quiet. But also on Wednesday 17th there were 2 Redstarts and a family party of Spotted Flycatcher.  Today I checked this hedge again and initially it seemed quiet. I had walked across the fields from Walgrave with the two old collies so by the time we reached the hedge they needed to rest their paws !! During our 30 mins rest I heard and saw a Redstart and a Marsh Harrier flew over heading to the back of the Walgrave Bay.
Harrington Airfield has been very disappointing during the week. All I had seen was a Turtle Dove and 3 families of Grey Partridge, which I'm pleased to say are doing well.
I decided to visit Harrington this evening , not ideal birding conditions as it was very windy and gloomy, so it was more of a dog walk and if I saw anything it would be a bonus.  There was a Turtle Dove in the usual bare trees mid way along the track and then rather bizarrely there was a group of 4 Turtle Dove flying around together at the end of the track as I stood scanning the fields looking across to the A14.   Also in this area was a Wheatear on the scuffled field and at least one Redstart in the bushes.
As the weather was so poor for photographs I decided not to take my camera ........big mistake!! Whilst walking along the track I heard a very distinctive noise and turned around to see the Red Arrows heading straight towards me, low and slow, giving me a brilliant view, but sadly no pictures. 

Regards Eleanor
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