Saturday, 9 April 2011

Bike Birding to Bovingdon disused Airfield

I left the house around 11:30 and took the bike down Barnes Lane.  The first birds I encountered were 5 Linnets.  Along Bulstrode Lane there were 2 Skylarks, 4 Buzzards (3 of which were circling together) and 1 Red Kite.  The fields opposite the Greinan Farm had 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull.  As I cycled through the Little Hay Golf Course 1 Red Kite flew over, I heard 1 Chiffchaff and there were 2 Yellowhammers and 2 Buzzards near Gorsefield Wood.  1 yellowhammer was also calling near Lower Farm and other birds around the area included 1 Kestrel, 2 Blackcaps (1♂, 1♀) in the Great Wood, 1♂ Pheasant (also heard in the same area), 1 Red Kite, 7 Skylarks, 3 Stock Doves and 1 Sparrowhawk.  The footpath led into Spencer farm were I also heard and saw 1 Mistle Thrush and 3 Jays.  The small green in Whelpley Hill was the furthest point I reached on my bike trip yet all I saw still was another 1 Buzzard, 2 Stock Doves and 1 Green Woodpecker "yaffling".  My main destination was the Bovingdon disused Airfield which is little more than what is described in the title, the grass is not entirely stubble and therefore not entirely appropriate for bird life (or any at all), despite the condition I still saw 7 Linnets, 1 Red Kite, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Skylarks (there were definitely more present but their territories are big so the likelihood of seeing more than 1 in any area during the breeding season is minimal) and 3 Buzzards circling together in the distance.  Although most of the bird species I saw today were the same I got several amazing views of some of the Buzzards and I was pleased to see more than the usual number of Linnets in comparison to my visits to Barnes Lane.

Sparrowhawk over the airfield to distant to tell whether it was male or female

Red Kite over Bulstrode Lane

Skylark at airfield doing display flight quite close

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