Thursday, 22 March 2012

Local Patch (17th March)

Unfortunately, I was suffering from a bad back so I didn't want to rush of on any twitches or cycle anywhere over the weekend so I spent a casual weekend on my local patch searching for some early signs of breeding.


3 Skylarks in the fields just west of the A41 were my first birds of note for the day followed by the welcoming sight of 2 Lapwings display diving over the newly ploughed fields at Clapgate Farm (hopefully they'll breed).


As the rain set in and picked up, I was surprised to see 3 Buzzards take of from the woods (perhaps due to my accidental disturbance).  A flock of 62+ Black-headed Gulls also flew in from the ploughed fields accompanied by 5 Lapwing displaying and doing the occasional tumble in the air.  I remained on the northern side of the wood for a while and counted 50+ Fieldfare fly over as well as a singing Goldcrest in the woods behind me.  On of the highlights was the spectacular sight of a murmuration of 300+ Starlings take flight from the pastural fields before landing in some neighbouring trees (the largest number I have recorded by far on my local patch!).


I was hoping to refined some of last weeks Lesser Redpoll but on arriving the scene was much more quiet with on 2 Yellowhammers breaking the silence, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the line of Lime trees and 19+ Fieldfare.


At Sheepcote Spring the only birds of note braving the rain included 1 Treecreeper, coming very close to were I was standing, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Nuthatches, 1 calling Green Woodpecker and 2 Lesser Blck-backed Gulls heading north.  As the rain receded, 2 Buzzards arrived and glided east over Beechen Bottom.


On my return little had changed, except for the lack of rain.  However, 2 Buzzards were of note, as well as 1 Green Woodpecker and a brief glimpse of c.25 Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, before they landed back at the tops of the coniferous trees out of sight.


I was just approaching the farm from the west when 12 Siskin flew over in a northerly direction followed by 1 Meadow Pipit flying west.  The hamlet pond played host to a rather gruesome scene as a group of 4 male ducks (2 Mallards, 1 feral Mallard and 1 white barnyard duck (or whatever they are supposed to be called)) were attempting to drown one another by teaming up as 3 vs. 1 and began forcing their opponents head underwater whilst keeping them under using their own body weight.


The pastural fields SW of the A41 held 21+ Meadow Pipits (definitely one of the largest numbers I have seen on my local patch) accompanied by 4+ Skylarks and 2 Kestrels.

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