Thursday, 11 September 2008

It's That Time of Year Again, 5th september

The first bucket goes down.

This morning I was putting the first load of food down at our winter farmland bird feeding station in the rain. Every year I put the first food down in September as it usually takes the birds about 3-4 weeks to find it again. We use a mix of seed to attract species such as Tree Sparrow, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting etc.

After I put the food down I decided to have a walk round but unfortunately it was raining, but nevertheless I persevered. The wind was easterly and it made me think what would someone like Newton Stringer be having on his patch this morning in these weather conditions!

The first birds I had were a couple of Grey Partridges that I flushed from near the feeding station and then over a field of wheat an adult female Marsh Harrier came into view. She was being mobbed by a Carrion Crow, and unlike the local Buzzards, she only put up with this for so long before she retaliated. She pulled up sharp, the Crow couldn't stop in time and flew past her, and then she dived at the Crow driving it away. Stonking!

Further on I had the male Marsh Harrier that had been hanging around for a while so that was nice. The only other raptors I had were 4 Kestrels. It was very quiet and I carried on until I got to the plantation where there were a couple of
Goldcrests calling but nothing else.

Walking back to the car I picked up a group of 4
Goldcrests in a hedgerow and amongst them was a cracking juv Chiffchaff.

I haven't got any pictures of Marsh Harrier, so I
thought I would show you a picture of American
Kestrel in the hand taken by mate in Canada!

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