Friday, 1 June 2012

1st June - Maybe a Black Bird For a Grey Day?

I had to look twice this morning as on the fence post was a very unusual looking bird, however on closer inspection it became clear that it was in fact a fledgling Dunnock.  I can't say I have ever seen one before, it does look a little bedraggled, and I wouldn't say it's cute, but I am sure its mother loves it!

It has been grey and still all day, so as I went for a walk this evening I wasn't expecting much.  Along Brislands I watched a Blue Tit disappear into the eve on a house, waiting I saw it come out and heard the young calling.

In the wood, it seemed even darker, probably as a result of the grey clouds and the dense leaves that were now all out on the trees.  A Chiffchaff sang, and the odd Wren burst into song but apart from that it was very quiet.  I walked around to the pond, and here the water appeared very black.  The Irises had flowered significantly since Saturday, and reflected well in the inky water.

The Lily pads are developing well in the middle of the pond, and the Moorhen was making the most of the weed and insects that were gathering around them.  For once it was not nervous of me as I walked by.

The water close to the banks was full of tadpoles, but the fish that were sunning themselves last Saturday were no where to be seen.  I walked down the road in the direction of Kitwood, with the intention of spending some Tine to see if the flycatchers would show.  As I reached the junction with Lye Way, a small bird flew up to the wires.  I wasn't sure at first what it was, but as I got closer I could see it was a warbler, but not sure which one.  It flew from the wire into the tree close by, and I was able to get closer still, and it became clear that it was a Chiffchaff.  Never mind, it did look quite smart in the bush with the blossom.

Waited at the bungalow garden for a while, but was not able to find the Spotted Flycatchers, I walked around the footpath at the back and this too drew a blank.  I am sure they will be still there, and hope that maybe they nest.

As I walked down towards the school I scanned across Old Down Wood.  I picked up a raptor soaring in the distance, and immediately picked up on a forked tail, and thought Red Kite, but something did not seem quite right.  The tail was short, and when it soared it behaved like a buzzard.  I tried to get some photos, but every time I came off the bird with the binoculars I couldn't locate it with the camera.  It gained height and as it did I could see the forked tail, but the fork was not as pronounced as those I have seen on Red Kites.  The wings were also not as long.  Because I know there are resident Red Kite in the area it is difficult to discount them, but something about this bird said it wasn't a Red Kite, and it wasn't a Buzzard.  As it gained height I hoped it would drift towards me, but unfortunately it drifted away to the north.  My heart was telling me Black Kite, but my head was saying you can't be sure, and I couldn't.  I will just have to wait to see if any are reported in the area, that might help my conscience.  Anyway, I shouldn't be greedy, I have already had one good raptor tick this week!


  1. I like your comment on the hants blog..wishful thinking eh? been there so many times. I bet it was a black kite though.:)

  2. As I said I can't be greedy I have had a good week. We really should catch up sometimes, we have like minds!

    1. Indeed,haven't visited the meon valley for a while. I give myself the odd day off being self employed and usually play catch up at my local patch at Titchfield Haven,which I did last week plus a dawn chorus to boot,oh and a nice pub lunch which always goes down well! If I decide to pop up your way will see if we can meet up perhaps, or if you happen around this way...?

    2. Sorry if this is a random reply but I am not good at blogging. I just want to say that i am fairly sure i saw an Osprey this morning flyng high over the field up from manor farm. It was an enormous bird, dark grey/brown on top, white underneath white fan tail underneath and held wings in v shape. It went very high and into the clouds but I have never seen anything like it before. As it turned in the sunlight the centre of its back where the wings join glistened white too. Do you think this is what I saw?????? Jill

  3. Hi Jill. Sorry this isn't Chris, dont know whats up , there's been no blog for a bit, I hope he's ok? Regards your bird..unusual if it was an Osprey as most would be at there breeding grounds at the moment. From your description it sounds as though it could be a Red Kite...which would be more likely as these are getting much more common these days all round this way. Hope this helps
    Regards Smudger

  4. Hi Jill..again. Have checked the hants bird blog for friday and a Red Kite was seen at Tadley just north of Basingstoke - maybe the bird you saw? No reports of Ospreys. A forked tail is usually a good sign of Red Kite as Ospreys do not have them.

  5. Hi Jill and Smudger, sorry for the radi silence have been on holiday and then business. Jill I would agree with Smudger, from your discription I would say it was a red kite. Any way I am back and posting, let's hope the weather improves!

  6. Hi again, Thank you for the input. I didn't know there was a hants bird blog! I will keep an eye on that. I agree that it would have been unusual to see an Osprey over manor farm especially as its nesting time ect and we are not near the sea or lake but it definatly did not have a forked tail...but I probably got over excited, it wasn't a seagull though or a heron....its so frustrating. Perhaps it was a white tailed eagle blown off course....imagine that!!! Lol. regards Jill


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