Hermitage over the Weekend

Again I’m posting later than I should but it’s because I need time to put my pictures on Flickr then save them on to my phone and blah blah blah…

On Saturday I didn’t manage any birding but did manage a few birds. A pair of Mute Swans flew over me as I was playing rugby, putting me off my game. Plenty Goldfinches about and Oystercatchers landed on the playing field next to the one I was playing on.

However, undoubtedly the best bird of the weekend was three Red-legged Partridges that I woke up to in the field behind my house. First time I’ve seen them there but I should really have expected them. Apparently Grey Partridge appear sometimes so I’ll need to look out for them to hopefully add them to my Garden List.

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So that was a lovely find but I went out later too for a bit of afternoon/evening birding.

Into the Hermitage as it’s so close. Didn’t see the Partridges as I plodded across the field but a female Pheasant did flush and that in turn flushed 3 Dunnocks. On to the road that leads in to the Hermitage I didn’t see or hear any Dipper but a Pied Wagtail flew overhead. Once I got into the Hermitage I decided to go up on to a bit of Blackford Hill where not many people walk. I was rewarded with three Fieldfare in the sun, plus some Goldcrests, Long-tailed Tits, and good views of a party of 2 Wrens and three Blackbirds foraging in the leaves making a lot of noise.

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I also had nice views of a pair of Buzzards flying over the path I was on two weeks ago. Hopefully they’ll nest and I’ll have the pleasure of seeing the young learning to fly for the second year in a row. Quite comical seeing it plunge towards the tree line then spread it’s wings at the last possible moment to come crashing into the twigs, Blue Tits scattering everywhere!

IMG_4897 At this point I hadn’t seen or heard any Blue Tits at all which was unusual. I had a Thrush sp. flyby which disappeared into an Elder bush and had me looking into the sun so couldn’t identify it. I’m suspecting Song Thrush but could have been a Redwing.

Further into the Hermitage I finally picked up a few Blue Tits, Goldfinches and Bullfiches in the treetops, one Chaffinch which then became three as I later thought I’d seen two Brambling but of course not. Just a very bright male Chaffinch and a female with him.
At one point I was looking for a Great Tit who was singing in a way I’m not used to them doing, when suddenly I was aware of a lot if rustling behind me. A peak into the leaf litter behind the trees next to the path revealed c10 Redwing plus 6 Mistle Thrush and 6 Blackbirds, and a Wren for good measure. I’ve never seen Redwing foraging in a wooded area, always out in the open. Nevertheless, a nice sighting.

IMG_4905 There’s two Redwing in this pic

IMG_4904 And a Wren under the log here

To add to the nice-ness of this area, I heard the tapping of a Nuthatch’s beak on the Sycamore above me. I always see them if I stay in one place on that path for a wee while. Not easy to photograph though…
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IMG_4903 He/She’s right in the middle of both of these pics. Should’ve edited them a bit.

I had a fair number of Jackdaws so I didn’t end up taking any pictures of them. But some nice photo opportunities of other Corvids arose…

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Turns out I did take a picture of them but the emphasis was more on the Mistle Thrush as I’m still seeing a lot more than usual around my patch.

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Not a bird, but he obligingly posed for me so here’s a Grey Squirrel, just before he was chased away by a dog.

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Last couple of birds of Sunday were a Buzzard which landed on it’s usual fence post and a couple of Moorhens on the golf course by the Braid Burn.

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And last bird of this post before I finish off with some late afternoon snaps, one of our four Robins posing in the sunlight.

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My final count in the Hermitage that day was:
Magpie- 14
Woodpigeon- 30
Carrion Crow- 10
Herring Gull- 3
Wren- 9
Blackbird- 19
Robin- 3
Jackdaw- 89
Great Tit- 12
Buzzard- 2
Fieldfare- 4
Long-tailed Tit- 2
Dunnock- 3
Goldfinch- 2
Bullfinch- 7
Goldcrest- 5
Blue Tit- 8
Chaffinch- 3
Redwing- 11
Mistle Thrush- 6
Nuthatch- 1
And a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over my head as I was walking home but was just outside my sort of personal Hermitage recording area.

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Hermitage over the Weekend

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