Thursday, 15 December 2011

Almost A Raptor Fest!

I called at the feeding station late morning when it had stopped raining and the sun had come out, and bumped into Phil who was out for a bit of birding. As we chatted whilst I filled my buckets with seed we had at least 56 Yellowhammers and a flock of 5 Corn Buntings over. Later we would add a further 8 Corn Bunts to the total.

Walking down to the feeding station Phil picked up a Hen Harrier that gave a fantastic display as it hopped over hedges and weaved in and out of the more open aspects of the woodland. We then lost it and I picked it up sat on the margin of the 'big field' in the sun preening itself. It was having a good old preen lifting its wings in turn and preening underneath, and then twisting its tail to preen its underparts showing its white rump. After a while it departed and floated off over the stubble.

The only Hen Harrier pictures I have are at the nest when I was lucky 
enough to help out  ringing a  few chicks a couple of years ago. The same 
goes  for the  Merlin  further down.

At the feeding station the Tree Sparrows had increased to 230 and were joined by 23 Chaffinch. Later on in Curlew Wood I had a further 25 Chaffinch. We then headed up the '97 hedge' and had 11 Reed Buntings and a single Song Thrush. Perched in the birch trees above the Badger sett was a female Merlin.

I then took a walk across the wild bird see plot and flushed a Short-eared Owl that gave stonking views as it in turn flushed two Grey Partridges. Two Buzzards and a Kestrel added to the raptor score.

Walking back across the stubbles I had 89 Skylarks, 2 Snipe and a Siskin went over. It was then time for me to head home and get on with some work.

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