Wednesday, 11 September 2013

10th September - When the Wind Blows

The forecast for today was sunshine, which to start with it was, but there was always a very brisk cool north westerly.  The sun though didn't last, and very soon dark formidable clouds rolled in.  It never rained, but it felt very cold.

By the late afternoon the clouds had thinned and there was some watery sunshine, so I decided to see if there was anything about.  First stop though was to watch the house Martin nest on the house.  I had heard the chirping of nestlings and wanted to see the parents going in and out.  It didn't take long until one finally flew up into the nest.  I waited and very quickly another arrived and joined them all inside the nest, then one came out.

This is now the second brood since the disastrous nest fall earlier in the summer.  Clearly this nest must have been built of stronger mud, but then again maybe they should not use the previous years nest.

I headed off down Brislands towards Old Down.  The wind was still quite strong, and I thought then that this might be a problem.  Ahead of me there were four Rooks that were surfing in the wind that was coming over the tops of the trees.  They would hang together in the windd, drop down and then do it all again.  I don't think they were purposely trying to go anywhere, I could only put it down to play.

I decided to walk out along the field footpath, that isn't there.  This was partly to see if there was anything in the stubble, and partly to try and drive a confrontation.  This path has not been returned since last year's harvest and ploughing.  There was a tractor in the field muck spreading, and it came close but never stopped.

It was good to see the spreading though, hopefully this will become an attraction to the swallows and martins as they start to move south.  Last year produced some incredible numbers, so hopefully we shall see the same again, plus I still need Sand Martin for the year.

As I walked across the field, I flushed 3 Red-legged Partridges, they were off and away over the brow before I could raise the camera.  A single Meadow Pipit called above me, and then flew across the field.  

Unfortunately that was to be the last excitement I was going to get for a major part of the walk.  I went into the wood, walking down the path, and avoiding the dog mess (grumpy today!).  I decided to turn along the north perimeter, I haven't been this way for a while, and was amazed at the number of fallen trees, some had clearly been chopped or hacked down, why I don't know, but they were blocking the path.  I managed to clear some away, but others were just too big.

I thought there might be some fungi as we had found some on Sunday, but the ground was bare, there were some small brackets on the dead branches, but I will wait until they develop a bit more.

I walked down through the paddocks, and then up Andrews Lane.  I checked the hedges a nd conifers that have had migrants before, but there was nothing, no seeps of warblers, aor the lone sad call of the Bullfinch.  I couldn't even hear a Robin singing.

The field at the top of Andrews lane has just been harvested, and at last there was some life in the form of Rooks and Jackdaws.  As I walked by I scattered the flock feeding on the ground.

From there I walked down Lye Way, where I did manage to see a Kestrel hovering over the field to the east, and a Buzzard sitting in the field but very distant.  I walked on, and decided that it would be better to get home, so I continued at pace down past the school, and along Lymington Bottom.

I was though amazed to see that a Sycamore in one of the gardens wqas showing signs of autumn already with the leaves a deep red.

When I got home I waited to see if the House Martins were about, but they didn't turn up inthe time I was prepared to wait, even they had had enough.

So it was n't the most rewarding of walks, and for the first time in a long while I was considering going somewhere this weekend where they would at least be birds.  Never mind there is always the chance to catch up with Namibia

Something nice to end on, just before dinner the sun just peaked out under the clouds as it was setting, and lit up the sky

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