Friday, 17 January 2020

Round Up

It has been a strange few days. My laptop has been playing up and I couldn't access this page !!  Fingers crossed that I've sorted it.
I am seriously beginning to think that I am never going to get rid of my wellies and that I would be better off with webbed feet.  It is hard work trekking around the fields and it is certainly a good work out for my legs and cardio system.
The saturated fields have attracted huge flocks of Fieldfares, Redwings and Starlings, their plumage looking quite splendid in the winter sunshine.  Today I happened to be near some grass fields and these were covered in Jackdaws, Crows, Rooks, Wood Pigeons and Stock Doves. I know that these are common birds which many of us barely look at, but perhaps we should take a trip back to basics and enjoy watching these characters as they go about their daily business.
There are many areas of flooded water around and birds have been displaced . The flooded field between Holcot and Walgrave has attracted a Great White Egret and I have seen it numerous times this week as I have driven past.  There is similar flooded area between Brixworth and Pitsford which also has a regular Great White Egret.
Yesterday we were very kindly informed of a Hen Harrier near Draughton.  I spent sometime checking out the area but no luck . I continued the short distance to Harrington Airfield and after feeding the birds spent late afternoon scanning the area from the bunkers.  This was how I spotted a Ring Tailed Hen Harrier flying about just beyond the shooting wall and then seemingly following the main track along. This was the same bird that had been reported earlier in the day.  A Short Eared Owl suddenly appeared over the strip which links the bunkers to the main track.
Today I visited Sywell Reservoir.  I couldn't find anything of note among the ducks etc, but did manage a couple of Grey Wagtails, Water Rail, few Siskins and a Cettis Warbler, always nice birds to watch.
We have lots of birds visiting our garden and I'm feeding them several times a day.  A male Blackcap has been a regular visitor on the fat balls. I happen to glance out of the window and could see some very small "lumps" moving about in an odd way. It took me a few minutes to work out that I was watching a flock of Long Tailed Tits which were feeding on the ground. Initially I couldn't see their tails and all I could see were little round blobs moving about !!
A couple of Ravens are very vocal in a nearby garden and are definitely taking an interest in a very tall conifer. They were going through their full repertoire of calls today and enjoying themselves tumbling about in the breeze.  Who needs TV when you can watch these ?
Other birds seen during the week include Chiffchaff, Grey Partridge, Brambling and a group of 4 Ravens which seem to be frequenting Hanging Houghton area and Harrington.

Regards Eleanor

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