A dreary day to start with heavy rain overnight clearing away in the morning. The starling flock along Reads Field continues to increase in size, and I can see them flying around the larches and the oak trees from my office window. When they settle in the tree it is possible to photograph them and them count them. On Friday there were 30 sitting in the tree, today the number was up to 48, and there were still other circling around. We will be getting the sky dancing soon!
Seriously Starling numbers have declined over the last twenty years, with interestingly their decline blamed on the access to food, and not breeding sites. In the winter the large flocks and roosts that are seen are as a result of birds migrating in from the continent. I think our starlings are probably local birds, but it will be interesting to watch the numbers.
I had been out all day, but two birds in the late afternoon were worth noting. First I managed to capture a very grainy image of the Grey Heron that has been fling around the village recently. I had seen one on Friday, bizarrely at the top of a leylandi tree by the railway line along Lymington Bottom Road. I am not sure if there is more than one bird, but I am sure they are on the watch for opportunities in garden ponds. This one flew past the office window, and I just managed to get the camera out in time. Apologies for the quality.
The other bird was very welcome. In the gloom, as I went out to top up the feeders, I disturbed a group of Chaffinches and a female Reed Bunting, a first for me in the garden, a first in Four Marks, and my 85th bird of the year!