Friday, 21 October 2016

A glorious afternoon walking country lanes near Brawdy

As a slight change of scenery for us, yesterday afternoon we walked some of the country lanes west of Brawdy to record "general wildlife" in a few one km squares (where records seemed to be lacking).

It was a glorious afternoon. There were not too many birds of note (an over-flying heron but no large white egret was seen). Non-the-less, we were entertained by some 800+ golden plovers, either wheeling around overhead, or else feeding in recently harrowed arable/stubble fields, occasionally being temporarily disturbed into the air by a tractor and lime-spreader.

Other winter migrants were were not particularly numerous but a small flock of about 10 redwings fed in a hedgerow on numerous hawthorn berries, alongside several mistle thrushes and other probably resident thrushes. There were dozens of linnets around and similar numbers of chaffinches. All were feeding in as yet un-ploughed cereal stubbles, alongside small numbers of skylarks moving around from field to field. Singles of chiffchaff and blackcap in the hedgerows were about the only signs of any summer migrants still around in this area.

Back at home, our regular family flocks of bullfinches are tucking into privet berries as is usual here at this time of year. Usually up to eight or so have been noted. This morning at least 14 have been gorging on this popular, if somewhat temporary, fruit resource. The males seemed to be taking probably the most ripe fruit; the females and juvs (at least those juvs not yet moulted) seemed to be mainly feeding on the smaller and greener fruit.