Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Would You Like Twigs with That?

The morning was a rerun of Thursday, but there were no Bramblings.  I was early for the class so had a look at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit, and was surprised to see a pair of Willow Tits near the entrance.  They were making their distinctive nasal 'tchay-tchay-tchay' sounds.  Most of the rest of the morning was pretty similar to Thursday. There were more Linnets about, some of them in full song. There were more Red-legged Partridges with one pair in their traditional place along a field boundary. We could see distant Red Kites and Buzzards flying distantly either side of the church spire. However, we did see a Buzzard closer, which flew up off the ground. This was the same area a Red Kite flew up from on Thursday, so it seems there may have been some carrion in the area of the Rabbit warren. In this same area was a large flock of Fieldfare, but they were very distant.
All pics (c) 2014 Maggie Bruce, except for those marked MJF
 In the afternoon only 50% of the tiny group turned up, and as the morning had been like walking through treacle, we went on a safari round the area instead. We saw the massive flock of Fieldfare in the same field we saw them this morning, but in the afternoon they were closer. We carried on towards South Dalton and saw a perched Kestrel. A drive through the parkland added a Jay making its way leisurely towards a tree. We headed north a little and Carolyn spotted some large birds on a hedge. One of them was a Carrion Crow, but the other 2 were Buzzards. We went a little further to turn around when Linda spotted a large flock of birds. I stopped the car to have a look, and was surprised to see 200+ Golden Plovers. They circled around before settling down in a field. There was only 1 Lapwing in the area. 
Kestrel & twigs!

 Buzzard & Twigs [MJF]
 Bullfinch & twigs!

I turned the car round and we headed towards Holme-on-the-Wolds. Just on the crown of the hill there was a single male Yellowhammer perched on hedge. It seemed very yellow against the dark brown of the bare field behind. Linda spotted a bird circling, which turned out to be a Red Kite. It was much closer than any we had seen in the afternoon. As we neared the village we found a flock of c.20 Yellowhammers, which started flying away from us as we tried to get a little closer.  

Goldcrest & twigs! [MJF]
 Goldcrest & Gold Feet! [MJF]
 Male Kestrel
The sun had been out about 10 minutes, so we went on a drive to see if the local Little Owl was sunbathing. The old, gnarled tree was completely empty, but I checked the opposite side of the road where I noticed a stump with a round blob on the top - there was the Little Owl. The participants were charmed with it, especially when it twisted its neck round 180 degrees to look at us over its shoulder.  
Little Owl [MJF]
Little Owl [MJF]

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