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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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…
My final count in the Hermitage that day was:
Carrion Crow- 10
Herring Gull- 3
Great Tit- 12
Long-tailed Tit- 2
Blue Tit- 8
Mistle Thrush- 6
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.