The morning after….
The kebab was, as usual brilliant the night before, as it always does it rounds off the end of the monthly Birders drink up the Railway; as usual I was walking down to the Valley at dawn putting myself through the usual pain caused by liquid refreshment.
Why I do it I don’t know, why not just lay in on the Saturday and not set the alarm the night before for 5.00am, instead I am thinking Ring Ouzels and Black Tailed Godwits and then questioning if I am right in the head. That’s birding, there is always a ‘good un’ round the corner, the phrase ‘no pain no gain’ is very apt.
As I walked down past St. Georges Wood virtually the first birds seen were 2 Common Buzzards, I suspect they were roosting nearby, these promptly headed over to the Farm Trail, a good start to the morning.
|2 Common Buzzzards with the usual attendants|
Pressing on showed the whole Valley flooded, certainly the most I have ever seen it flooded, consequently it was alive with waterfowl, Canada Geese numbered 278 with 35 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and 31 Teal in the mix as well.2 Snipe and a Kingfisher were also seen.
|A couple of Snipe on the flooding|
|Looking towards the Bridge|
It was also apparent that there was also good numbers of Goldcrest and Chiffchaff around, the final total for each of these was 8 and 11, good counts.
House Martins were absolutely everywhere over the flooded marsh and a conservative count made as it got warmer showed a minimum of 220 birds spread right along the Valley.
I decided to walk the Farm Trail after earlier spotting a few groups of distant Finches , en route I had 4 Redpoll species over calling, most likely Lessers but who knows?, it’s been a few years since we had a Mealy.
As I started down the Trail towards the game crop it was evident that there was quite a lot of activity with large numbers of Corvids out on the fields, I easily reached 26 Jackdaw amongst the Crows, very likely more present.
Several Yellowhammers were seen which is always a pleasure, some even seemed to still be paired as male and females were still bonded. Good numbers of Skylark were present and the finch flock numbered around 50+ mostly Reed Buntings and Chaffinches but also Meadow Pipits mixed in as well.
With colder weather the game crop will again become a Finch and Bunting magnet, hopefully it will pull in some Brambling also.
A good walk was rounded off by a distant Common Buzzard, likely one of the birds seen in the morning and 2 very confiding Goldcrest, the bloke with the hammer in my head had left so not a bad day after all.