Saturday 20th March and it was still grey but the wind we’ve had for the last few days had died down. I decided that I needed a couple of quiet hours watching wildlife, on my own without the dogs (they didn’t miss out they were walked first!). I did get the image of the Fieldfare below when I was out with them, I saw this one with a number of Redwings in a field, it won’t be long before they will be heading back to Scandinavia for the summer.
I also walked near Netmead field and I heard a lot of chattering in the Oak trees over the field and I could see many small birds in the trees there were more than a hundred I would say. I couldn’t see what they were but I took a picture of part of the group to see if I could identify them when I got home and the images on the computer. I still wasn’t sure so I went on the UK Bird Identification Facebook page and it wasn’t too long before I had the answer form the members, they were Linnets, it was really lovely to see so many together. Apparently they flock in the winter going to fields of stubble, wasteland, and saltmarshes to find feed. Netmead field has stubble from a crop in summer and part wet grassland from the flooded Stour over the winter.
I decided to walk towards Netmead field again when I went out on my own as it seemed to be a good place at the moment for birds, there must be plenty of food in the old stubble fields to encourage them to stay around.
Suddenly I am hearing lots of Chiff Chaffs calling, some stay around for the winter but many migrate returning in March so it sounds like the migrants may have returned!
There are still plenty of Yellowhammers in the field, small flocks, not quite so many as I saw the other day. What I find puzzling is they fly into the short stubble and I can never see them until they fly out en-mass!
The Skylarks are above I can just make them out high in the sky if I look very carefully, one day I might get a better picture I think it requires plenty of time and a lot of patience.
A snippet of a Skylark singing high above Netmead field. (turn up your volume!)
I walked around the edge of the River stour but I didn’t spot too much, the river bank is looking very bare with all the recent floods we have had, once things start growing, which I can see signs of hopefully there will be more bird activity.
I did see a male and Female Reed bunting in some of the bushes bordering the river.
A Heron flew over and I managed to get a quick image, it was quite strange he was flying in a straight line across the field when suddenly he dropped down and did a few acrobatics then got back to his same flight path and disappeared into the distance.
Plenty of other birds to see as I wandered back along the hedgerows.
When I got home I was in our kitchen making tea when I spotted a brown flash going across the window, I though Sparrowhawk! I rushed upstairs grabbed my camera which I keep ready for anything like this and spotted him on a birdhouse in my neighbours garden, I only had a few seconds to take a picture through the window before he went, so I was pleased to get an image of him. Luckily he didn’t get any of our Sparrows, it was quite quiet in the back of our garden for a while but they were soon up and chattering again!
I decided to reflect on what I had seen that day and wrote down a list of sightings, I always think I haven’t seen anything but I think it means I haven’t been able to take an image of a bird, either due to being too quick for me, partly hidden in the trees or hedges, or my incompetence to react quickly enough!
- Blue Tits
- Canada Goose
- Chiff Chaff
- Collared Dove
- Great Tits
- Greater Spotted Woodpecker
- House Sparrows
- Long Tailed Tits
- Mallard Ducks
- Pied Wagtail
- Reed Bunting
- Song Thrush