Tuesday, 27 March 2012

27th March - There's a Kite Out of Control on the Breeze

Yet another glorious day, clear blue skies and endless sunshine.  The chaffinch was now outside my office window, and is really into it's stride.  The head is thrown back with the beak wide open and the throat just ripples as it send out it's song.

I set off early evening down Brislands once again towards Old Down, perhaps in the hope that something new has turned up.  I could hear Chiffchaff singing from the entrance, and decided to walk along the sunlit side of the field.  This proved successful as I finally managed to pin down the Chiffchaff and get some photos.

Further in another was singing, this one was not in the sunlight but I still managed to get a reasonable shot, as it mixed fly catching with singing.

In the main track a red Admiral flitted about and gave the briefest of opportunities when it settled.  This was my first for the year.

Coming out of the wood I took the footpath down alongside the field towards Lyeway.  All the Wood Pigeon suddenly burst out of the field where they had been hidden by the growing brasicas.  There must of been around 150 to 200 pigeons in the flock, and after flying around for a while they settled into the trees alongside the field

I wasn't sure what had spooked them but it quickly became apparent as a Red Kite drifted over from the east.  It spiralled around and gave some superb views.

I have never walked this footpath before, so it was all new to me.  Looking to the west with the setting sun, the view over Ropley was enhanced by the misty appearance of the trees and hills.  It really is beautiful countryside around here and we are very lucky living here.

Another surprise though, was in one of the fields to the west.  It was covered in birds, and at first I thought they were Lapwing, but they turned out to be thrushes, and Fieldfare at that.  I counted 146 in total.  there may have been a few Mistle Thrushes too, but with the light it was difficult to clearly identify all the birds.  The picture here shows a portion of the field and there are 28 Fieldfare, I can't recall seeing so many late in the year.

I walked back along the road from Lyeway Farm, and was able to get this Yellowhammer sitting on the wire.  Since the warm weather Yellowhammer calls and song have been everywhere, and they are definitely a common breeding bird around the patch.

Lyeway twists and turns with hedges and telegraph poles, and again in the evening sun can look impressive.

On one of the telegraph poles I noticed a Kestrel.  It sat for a while and then sprang into the air and flew off across the field, as the alarm calls from the song birds rang out.

Wood Pigeons were still flying around the fields, but one remained on the ground.  Taking a look I couldn't see the white neck ring, only a green band, and it was also slighter than the bulky Wood Pigeons, once I realised that this was a Stock Dove and not a bird you see every day, it was off, and all I managed was this flight shot.  If you look though you can see the neck

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