Friday, 9 May 2014

Not a Fallow Period

Today we drove to Ricall to walk around a wildlife-friendly farm in gentle rain. As soon as we arrived we noticed the amount of hirundines, mainly swallows and the odd Sand Martin, but when we returned there were also two House Martins. There was no sign of last week's lost, possibly orphaned, baby Greylag Goose.

Green-veined White
 Orange-Tip - camera on wrong setting!
There was a fantastic singing Blackcap who posed in the open for quite a long time. He had a few notes which were reminiscent of a Nightingale. A Whitethroat was singing nearby, and on the wires were several Swallows and a pair of Linnets, but they flew off as soon as they spotted us coming. On the return journey we were rewarded with a pair of Yellow Wagtails, which allowed us very close views. Just a little further on from the Blackcap someone spotted a swarm of bees, which I managed to approach and photograph on my mobile. I'd left my camera in the car because of the rain. In the afternoon the rain had stopped, so it was possible to use my proper camera. 
Swarm of Honey Bees
 Zooming in on Swarm

 A Yellowhammer could be heard zitting in the hedge, and Phil found a couple in the field. Later, another was singing among the cows. Phil was on form as he also spotted a distant Kestrel, which headed towards us, and eventually did a fly past. Matthew spotted a large immature gull flying around and then a Curlew which landed for a short time in the pasture. Along the drain Claire noticed an adult Heron take off, which flew off eastwards and a Hare which disappeared through a gap in the hedge, which was shortly followed by several Partridges. A pair of Grey Partridges flew up suddenly from this same area in the afternoon.  I don't think it was a coincidence that the day's best bird sightings were all rather close to the field strip which had been sowed with a wild flower mix.
 View South of the Area we Walked
 Grey Partridge
 Distant Record Shot of 3 Fallow Deer
 Distant Record Shot of 2 Fallow Deer

A Song Thrush was singing distantly along a hedge with more Yellowhammers zitting nearby. There was a fairly bare field near here, which held Hares, Lapwings and in the afternoon Grey Partridges. In the afternoon Carol spotted some deer, and on closer examination these turned out to be Fallow Deer. The first time I've ever seen this species in the wild. That was probably the best sighting of the day. We looped back to the starting point without adding any new bird species. The participants were impressed with an area of Yormshire they dint know very well and enjoyed a walk in which they could enjoy the pleasures of the country side without having to put up with dozens of badly behaved dog walkers.

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