With Nigel C resting at home with his bad back, Angela T armed with a notepad and pen, Nigel P with a pocketful of sweets and Ian bringing his amazing knowledge of butterflies joined me to walk Area 2 this month.
I met the others by the oak trees in Furners Lane by which time they had already seen a robin, crow, wood pigeon and a pied wagtail. Whilst I was on my way to meet them, I saw 2 buzzards being mobbed by crows and a herring gull.
All quiet and still at the oak trees so we wandered along Furners Lane. In the field to the north we spotted 2 roe deer which soon ran off and joined another 3 in the adjoining field, where we saw a magpie and a blackbird.
It was a dull morning which made it hard to identify birds in flight but we did hear a greater spotted woodpecker and saw a small murmuration of starlings.
Further down the road just before the Bylsborough turning, several birds flew across the road and disappeared into the scrub, we saw them again a bit further on and because of the light we were initially unable to decide if they were redwings or fieldfare. Eventually after watching them for a while, looking online and a lot of discussion we decided they were redwings.
A chaffinch helpfully perched at the top of a tree and a couple of wrens chased each other across the road.
Not a lot to be seen up to Bylsborough, very quiet and still dull. We heard a green woodpecker and saw some goldfinches and bluetits.
Going towards Woodhouse Farm we heard a very vocal pheasant and saw a clattering of jackdaws.
Turning right by the farm the sun started to appear, as did the sound of skylarks. A heron flew over looking very majestic in the light, a kestrel was spotted and a cormorant hurriedly flew past.
The field had been ploughed which made it very difficult to spot the ‘little brown birds’ but we persevered, watching several swoop up and down, trying to locate them with our binoculars in the field and we decided they were linnets.
Nothing at the hay barn but one yellowhammer was spotted near the hedge, which had been cut back. We then spotted several house martins above the ploughed field.
When we reached the meadow area before Morley’s we started hearing bull finches. A great tit was spotted and a jay heard. The vegetation around Morley’s pond had been cut back so we thought we might see more but only heard a moorhen.
In the nearby woods we heard a high pitched sound which we couldn’t identify so out came Merlin which immediately registered goldcrest. We weren’t sure and walked a bit further pondering the sound. It kept going like a warning call so we checked the goldcrest’s call online and again after much deliberation decided that there must have been at least one in the massive oak trees.
Along the hedge we heard more bullfinches and managed to spot a couple.
The sky then clouded over and with the cool easterly breeze it turned very quiet again.
We spotted a sparrowhawk before entering the woods near to Wantley and I left the group by the Wantley path.
Just as I left I spotted a collared dove on an aerial and the others saw a red kite on their way back to the car park.
33 species of bird
Two butterflies were seen – red admirals.