Monday, 19 May 2014

Colour v Drabness, Both in Decline

On Friday morning we visited Riccall for the last time this year. A House Martin flying around the farmyard was new, and 2 pairs of Swallow seemed to be using the same shed. 

We shared cars to the Riccall acres. Although the weather was glorious, everything seemed much quieter than last week's visit in the rain. Swallows were the first birds to greet us as we squeezed through the gate. The Blackcap seemed to have gone, and there was no sign of the Yellow Wagtails, Meadow Pipit, or Linnets of last week. Skylarks were singing higher over the pasture, and the Yellowhammers were still present, but more distant than last week. There were several Stock Doves flying around at first, but these were soon replaced by the ubiquitous Woodpigeons.

Yellow Wagtail
Whitethroats were singing in the hedge, but weren't as active as last week. There was no sign of the Fallow Deer either. As we were about to leave newcomer, Chris spotted a Heron flying over in a westerly direction. Although the morning crowd didn't see a lot of wildlife, they were pleased to see an area of the county they don't often visit. 
Corn Bunting
 Corn Bunting
The wildlife-friendly farmer kindly suggested that the afternoon session visited a completely different area of his Kelfield site. Again it started of very quietly, although Richard's talk was accompanied by a distant Corn Bunting, and this proved to be the harbinger of what was to come. Our walk had passed the half-way stage when a Skylark left the cover of the wheat field to perch on a hedge. It remained there as we walked through the tram-line towards it & only took to the air at the last moment. 
Female Orange-Tip
 Worn Peacock
 Low-Flying Big Bird

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