On Sunday 14th November I met up with a few friends from our camera club to go and take some pictures of the autumn colours up on Okeford Hill. We headed over to Bonsley woods and as we did I noticed plenty of bird activity in the fields between the two woods I promised myself I would come back in a few days and spend some time seeing what was about. There were certainly more birds than I have seen about recently.

It was lovely in the woods the Beech leaves were a lovely colour, later this year and still holding on well. Also some fungi still looking good. We were lucky to find a clump of Porcelain Fungus in good condition and also the tiny little Candle snuff fungus only about 2cm in height.

Beech woodland
Beech woodland
Porcelain Fungus
Porcelain Fungus
Porcelain Fungus in the woodland
Porcelain Fungus in the woodland
Candle Snuff fungus
Candle Snuff fungus

So on Thursday 18th November I headed for Okeford Hill once again, on my own this time. I knew where I would go for the best chance to see some interesting birds. As always the track from the carpark to the hill always has a few different birds in the hedgerow, plenty of food for them at the moment. I spotted a Wren, Robin, Blue Tits and there was a small group of Long Tailed Tits, as always in a hurry! A Great Tit was rummaging in the dead leaves for food.

Wren
Wren
Robin
Robin
Great Tit
Great Tit

As I got to the edge of the wood I noticed a good sized flock of birds high up in the trees, hoping it was Fieldfares, the light was not too good but I managed to get a picture. They flew away and they gave their distinctive call as they did so, definitely Fieldfares. I saw quite a few small flocks a I wandered round the field.

Fieldfares
Fieldfares

I was pleased to spot a couple of male Stonechats as I wandered about and luckily they showed well on the bushes and fence. As I got round to the path near the trig point I spotted Yellowhammers, there were quite a few in the scrubby hedgerow and also feeding down in the arable field.

Stonechat, male
Stonechat, male
Stonechat, male
Stonechat, male
Stonechat, male
Stonechat, male
Yellowhammer
Yellowhammer
Yellowhammer
Yellowhammer

As I was walking round I could hear birds singing down in the crop and above, they were flocks of Skylarks, a different song to their spring/summer song when they rise high in the sky singing, but beautiful all the same.

Skylark from the rear!
Skylark from the rear!
Skylark
Skylark

There were quite a few flocks of small birds flying quickly across the fields, I managed to get some photos although not very special but I wanted to see if I could identify them on the computer when I got home. I thought Linnets, I put them on the UK Bird Identification Facebook page and many group members came back with the same conclusion as me, hopefully they may stay still for a better photograph one day!

Linnets in flight
Linnets in flight
Linnets in flight
Linnets in flight

It was a good couple of hours wandering, great to see so many species in a short time.

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