|Yellowhammer (c) John Reynolds|
A very moist and misty weekend, dull and grey with rain never that far away.
The birdlife too seemed subdued by the very flat and uninspiring weather. The emphasis this weekend was on the smaller passerine species to be found in the hedges and rough weedy areas.
There was also a some interest to be gained by
carefully examining the tussocks and sedges in front of the hide. What appeared
to be bare and empty actually held a good number of Common Snipe that however
hard we tried we could not turn into Jack Snipe. We did however manage a happy,
but frustrating hour each day, trying to do so.
There were almost fifty
Chaffinches feeding in the area around the cattle pen where we have been
scattering fine seeds. There are Yellowhammers in the hedge near the hide and
large numbers of Reed Buntings along the trails and out in the reed bed.
Stonechats are now much more scattered over the reserve with three particularly
confiding individuals between the hide and July’s Meadow.
Whilst scanning the
area in front of the hide we became aware of just how many Meadow Pipits and
Pied Wagtails were feeding unobtrusively along the margins and amongst the
tussocks and sedge.
Large numbers of Fieldfare are now munching their way
through our hedgerow berries accompanied by much smaller numbers of
|Reed Bunting (c) John Reynolds|
|Treecreeper on a telegraph pole (c) John Reynolds|
|Stonechat from the hide (c) Bark|
|Wagtail and Meadow Pipit (c) John Reynolds|
|Fieldfare (c) John Reynolds|
A Marsh Harrier was seen on both days both over the reed bed and often over the smaller stands of reeds on Greenaways. Sparrowhawk and Peregrine both put in appearances flushing Golden Plover and Lapwings from both Ashgrave and Big Otmoor. Ravens were seen several times on both days and have now become relatively common. Usually they are heard “cronking”before they are seen and often travel in pairs sometimes very close together and sometimes several hundred metres apart.
|Cronking Ravens (c) Bark|
Only the oak trees retain any leaves now, and they stand out glowing yellow and gold along the now bare and monochrome hedgerows and along the Roman Road. They were the last trees to come into leaf and look to be the last to lose them. Chatting yesterday we were heartened to realise that it is only a month now until the the days start lengthening again.
|Oak tree glowing in the hedge at the Pill (c) Bark|