Monday, 17 November 2014

Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th November

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.
Reed Bunting (c) John Reynolds
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.
Treecreeper on a telegraph pole (c) John Reynolds
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.
Stonechat from the hide (c) Bark
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.

Wagtail and Meadow Pipit (c) John Reynolds
Large numbers of Fieldfare are now munching their way through our hedgerow berries accompanied by much smaller numbers of Redwings.
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

1 comment: