We have had some nice weather during September and it’s been good to be out and about early in the morning especially now sunrise is a bit later, less of an effort to get out of bed! I’ve been up Hambledon Hill or around the base a few times hoping to see a good sunrise or some wildlife. It doesn’t always happen but then there are some good sightings. One morning I headed up the hill before dawn and looking back at the Blackmore Vale the colours in the sky were amazing.

Pre-sunrise Hambledon Hill
Pre-sunrise Hambledon Hill

Another time I walked round the base of the hill and then across the fields towards home. In the old chalk pit there was a Kestrel hovering above, he dropped down and landed in the pit and stayed there for a while. Another time he was on one of the old fence posts on the bridleway until some Crows decided to bother him and I just managed to get an image of him diving out of the way.

Kestrel
Kestrel
Kestrel
Kestrel
Kestrel diving
Kestrel diving

One early morning on the top of the hill I spotted a Wheatear unfortunately I only had a short lens on, I took an image as a record shot. They are on route to migrate for the winter.

Wheatear
Wheatear

On the way down crossing the fields on the Iwerne side of the hill I spotted a male Stonechat he was some distance away feeding along the edge of the fields.

Stonechat, male
Stonechat, male
Stonechat, male
Stonechat, male

On the 1st October it was a lovely day I decided to take a walk up Hambledon Hill in the afternoon, something I don’t do very often but I thought I may see more birdlife than early in the morning and I wasn’t disappointed. As I made my way towards the hill a Green woodpecker flew across, a good start! As I walked across the field along the bridleway a Red Kite appeared from over the hill. Very distinctive with it’s forked tail, unfortunately the sun was bright behind it and it was gone before I could take a picture.

Afternoon view Hambledon Hill
Afternoon view Hambledon Hill

As I walked up the bridleway up the hill I spotted a small bird some distance away I took a couple of pictures and hoped to get closer but another bird spooked him and he flew off. I identified him later with help from the UK Bird Identification Facebook page as a Meadow Pipit, some of them will be migrating for the winter but many stay for the winter.

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

There were quite a few small flocks of small birds flying past, a group of what I’m pretty sure were Linnets flew across as I got nearer the top and some late Swallows and House Martins still hanging about here feeding across the top of the hill. I saw some birds in some scrubby bushes at the top of the hill it was difficult to see them in the bright sunshine I managed to get a couple of pictures of them by overexposing the image background and when I got them on the computer at home I realised they were Yellowhammers.

Yellowhammer
Yellowhammer

There was a Kestrel on the top of the hill hunting across the top, he was around for most of the time I was there, at times being worried by Crows but it looked like had managed to get a meal I could just see him holding something in his talons.

Kestrel and prey
Kestrel and prey

Then there were a pair of Ravens, very big and very glossy. I wasn’t 100% sure they were Ravens and after a discussion on the Facebook UK Bird identification the consensus was they were Ravens.

Pair of Ravens
Pair of Ravens
Raven in flight
Raven in flight

2 thoughts on “Hambledon Hill

  1. What a beautiful autumn record, Jane. I particularly appreciate the ravens as I always have trouble distinguishing them but your photos really show off the distinctive shape of the tail.

    1. Thank you Claire, as the autumn progresses hopefully we will see more birds! Yes I was pretty sure they were Ravens but had to check, they seem to thrive on the hill.

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