Tuesday, 6 March 2012
A Storytelling of Ravens...well two to be precise....02/03/2012
With the weekend weather sounding decidedly wintery I took the chance to take a Friday afternoon walk, my intention was to walk a circular route starting from Brake lane. I had intended to do this walk on the 25th February but that did not happen as a young man walking his dog informed me that there was a large flock of Yellowhammers along the edge of a field that were looking splendid in the sunshine! A "10 minute walk along the bridleway" said the young man, so off I toddled. Well 10 minutes to a dog walker is 30 minutes plus for a lingering birdwatcher. I eventually reached the field (by County Lane) and found nothing!! Hardly surprising really as there were a few cars parked close by and children having a riding lesson in a field/paddock just along the lane. Having seen practically zilch on the way and also on the return journey all but 2 shooters in a field , which probably explains the lack of birds, I decided to forego my planned 'circular' walk and headed home for a cuppa! I am sure the Dog walker meant well but I felt it was a bit of a 'fools errand' to be honest, the walk did me good though.lol! Anyway that is by the by. As I arrived at Brake lane a Skylark was singing and after a quick scan of the sky I spotted it, amazing little birds how they hover and sing so loudly and sweetly! A couple of Yellowhammers were perched on a distant hedgerow, Blackbirds were picking over fallen leaves and a couple of Chaffinch did a flypast. One of the fields was being ploughed over so not a lot of birdlife at the start of the walk, a Mistle Thrush perched in a tree was making known it's annoyance at the disturbance as it's rattling call sounded out above me , I stood and watched it for awhile it didn't seem at all perturbed at my presence. After negotiating the slightly muddy bridlepath I was well chuffed to hear and then see a Raven as it flew over and around a paddock, further along the walk I heard it again and this time it had a mate flying just in front of it, they looked a splendid sight! I was to see and hear one of the Ravens at least three times more on my walk, the final sighting was at the end of my walk as one of the Ravens flushed a large mixed flock of c60 Fieldfare and Redwings from the tops of a row of trees, defending territory.... hopefully. A small flock of Starlings were good to see again, it seem's a good while since I have seen any in this area. The usual were on and around the Lake with the addition today of a Little Grebe and a Goosander, the Goosander being too far away for a good photo, I did try but unsuccessfully so I ended up taking a short video. Not long to wait now for the Swallows to return to this area! I lingered for a lengthy time watching an area at the end of two gardens, there are plenty of trees and vegetation here and also the stream runs through, the public footpath overlooks this area..fortunately! Great Spotted Woodpecker x2, Songthrush, Nuthatch, Blue Tits, Great Tits and a Wren were viewed here. Green Woodpecker x 2 took flight as I approached a paddock, I was later to hear them 'yaffling'. 3 Buzzards circled high above me, I could watch them all day, such stunning birds! As I neared the end of my walk I came across a Collared Dove and a male and female Greenfinch, two species I have not encountered here for a few months. It is encouraging to see blossoms opening, buds appearing and fresh new leaves sprouting on trees and shrubs. At long last we are well on the way to much longer days, shorter nights and the welcome return of our Summer migrants.