Monday, 7 November 2011

The Ivingoe Hills (6th November)

My family and I took the opportunity yesterday to go for an afternoon walk along the Icknield way to Ivinghoe Beacon from the car park at Brook's Statnalls Wood from were we headed north to the beacon.  From the car my brother pointed out a Red Kite, the first I have seen in a long time, following their temporary absence from behind the RSSKL after this years the breeding season.  As usual we checked the S-bend in the road for Ring Ouzels but only had a few fleeting glimpses of what appeared to be Blackbirds diving into hedges raising our hopes on several occasions.  Otherwise a Red Fox showed briefly just south of the S-bend and several Redwing, 3+ Fieldfare and 7 Skylarks wee also seen, with the later seen in flight around Incombe Hole.  However, little else was of note until we arrived at the Beacon.  We were given the tip of by a few gathering birders that a Snow Bunting had been recently found in the stubble grassland SE of the beacon trig point, however despite an ongoing search as we tramped through the long grass and scanned the neighbouring sheep fields the bird could not be seen, let alone flushed.  Sadly my second dip for the weekend, not a very good record.  During our search 2 Buzzards and a Kestrel flew overhead, possibly surveying the damage we were inflicting on the carefully managed grassland that we were trudging all over.  My brother and I were the last to give up the search so headed back to the car, on the way encountering 3 Fallow Deer (2, 1♂) all of whom had dark brown/black coats, the male appeared from behind a hedge very close to were I was standing and possessing a large set of fully grown antlers.

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