16th April. Brake Mill Pool and Lane. I started my walk at Brake Mill Pool, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen were as usual on and around the water and the Cob Swan was swanning around looking out for the Canada Geese of which two were lazily sunning themselves on a grassy emabankment. I walked up the bridleway which is flanked on either side by paddocks and no matter how hard I scanned I could not pick anything up other than Woodpigeons and Corvids. The paddocks are now awash with Dandelions, very pretty but it does make it a little harder to see the smaller birds amongst them though I am sure there wasn't a Wheatear around! A small flock of Linnets were seen several times along with Great and Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Robin and a delightful Goldfinch perched in a tree in full song! On the way back to my car I was really chuffed to see a Barn Swallow skimming the Pool, the sighting made my day! I headed off to Brake lane to have a scan of the fields. My first sighting was a distant Buzzard perched on a fence post, I walked up the Public Footpath to see if I could get a closer look at the Buzzard and on the way scan the fields. A pair of Yellowhammers were a delight to see perched along the hedgerow, looking stunning in the sunshine. I managed closer binocular views of the Buzzard and watched as it flew from post to post occasionally, I think they are a super looking bird that command such presence! A pair of Ravens were perched not too far away from the Buzzard, they occasionally took flight making their 'kronking' call as they did so. Skylark, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit and Robin were the only other species seen on my brief (well 45 minutes or so) walk. Wildflowers seen today were Lesser Celandine, Dead Head Nettle, Bluebell, Spring Beauty and plenty of Dandelion!
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
What a difference a week makes....14/04/2012
The difference being the weather! Last Saturdays attempt at walking around Bunkers Hill Wood was a failure due to the mist and heavy drizzle, uninspiring to say the least! Today it was frosty, sunny and a tad cold, perfect weather, well I prefer hot sunshine but there you go! I headed for the same area that I had walked a couple of weeks ago as it is quieter (people wise),my first encounter was a Coal Tit just ahead of me on the path gathering nesting material and a little further on a Blue Tit had the same in mind. I heard and then spotted a Willow Warbler my first sighting of the year, Robins were the main songsters this morning along with the Blackbirds. I spotted a couple of male Blackcaps chasing each other through the trees, no doubt it was a territorial tussle. Wren and Great Tit were other species seen in the first part of the walk. As I walked up the hill to the much quieter part of the wood I was delighted to see a Goldcrest pair busily searching for insects and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming, I was later to catch sight of the GSW. Surprisingly this part of the wood was quiet, I had watched a pair of Blue Tits taking nesting material in to a hole in one of the Silver Birches on my previous visit but for the life of me I couldn't locate the tree. With the growth of the vegetation and some of the trees in leaf the area was vastly changing. I lingered for quite a while but no sign of any Blue Tits or any other bird for that matter so I made tracks for the bridleway and smaller wood. A Skylark was up high in the sky singing as I scanned the fields for Wheatear and also in the vain hope of a Ring Ouzel, I was to see neither species. I walked the perimeter of the wood for a change as it overlooks arable and pasture lands. A pair of Yellowhammers flew quickly past me as they headed towards the Pig Farm, I lost track of them once they had landed though the cute little piglets grabbed my attention for a couple of minutes. I was really pleased to see a Barn Swallow had arrived back to the area, I spotted it hawking over a distant field, just the one but uplifting to see. Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Pied Wagtail, Linnet, Wren, House Sparrow, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard x2 and Hen Pheasant x2 were other species seen along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed my 'Saturday Solitude' walk today! I almost forgot to mention that several Chiffchaffs were also seen and heard...bless em! The first image is the only one I managed of a Chiffchaff and there were so many of them too!