Tuesday, 17 December 2013

17th December - Woodman Spare That Tree!

The rain from Sunday finally came to an end this morning, and after a morning of high cloud, blue sky put in an appearance to the west.  It briefly gave some sunshine around lunch time, and I took the opportunity for a walk.  However prior to that the garden had been busy both back and front.  From my office window up to six Blackbirds were removing what berries there were left on the Rowan tree.



At the back there were plenty of Goldfinches on the feeders and picking up the drops that were on the lawn.  At one time I counted twelve actually in the garden with eight sitting in next door's tree waiting their turn.



The Robin was about, and continued in its feisty ways.  It seems it doesn't like the Starlings, and while one Starling fed on the fat balls it would launch itself at it in an attempt to scare it off.  The Starling resisted though and left in its own good time.

As I walked along Lymington Bottom several Blackbirds flew off in front of me, we do seem to have a lot at the moment.  Along Brislands the dinosaurs were in full swing, clearing more of the land.



They have also removed more trees as fresh stumps were visible.

More Blackbirds were along Brislands, and I could hear Redwing above me and from the hedges.  As I scanned the fields I noticed a Song Thrush feeding in the grass.  Its always nice to see one, hard to believe that once they were a common garden bird.  There does seemt ot be a pair around this location though.  In a short time the male will be singing his song, a good sign that spring is on the way.



The Rooks and Jackdaws were still feeding in the fields, and as ever they were very jumpy, and flew off calling at my slightest movement.



Another thrush called from the trees, this time the larger Mistle Thrush.  It sat in the open watching me before flying off to join the Rooks.



Movement beneath the thrush caught my eye, and I was surprised to find a Jay in amongst the Ivy, I can only assume it was after the berries like the thrush.



The Jay flew off as I walked by, but then appeared again in the Ivy that covers the big Oak tree along Gradwell.  It did come out of the Ivy, and jumped to a more open perch and called in alarm at me.



As well as the Jay, I could hear the soft piping call of a Bullfinch behind me.  For once I could see it, a male but again difficult to get a complete view as it sat perched in the middle of the hawthorn bush.



I walked into the wood via the Gradwell entrance, and as usual these days took the untouched south perimeter path.  I could hear the call of a Wren, and every so often in the distance the soulful song of a Robin.  A tit would call, and so to would a Goldcrest, but other than that it was very quiet.

As I reached the Old Down entrance I could hear Nuthatch calling, and in the distance the calls of Long-tailed Tits.  I paused just to see if there was anything else, but the wood fell quiet once again.

As I walked out on to the road I could hear once again Redwing calling above me, and a small group of six birds flew into the trees surrounding the pond.



As I approached the pond, I heard the mew of a Buzzard and one came across the water and sat on the telegraph pole in front of me.  The mewing continued to my right so there were two birds in the area, possibly a juvenile from this year's brood still pestering the parent.



I walked around the pond, and came across some Blue Tits, a Nuthatch and a Goldcrest.  The Goldcrest was flitting and hovering amongst the holly leaves in the dark at the back of the trees.



It seems that everywhere I go at the moment there are trees being felled.  Around the edge of the pond and by the picnic tables the large Oaks have been cut down.  



They were probably considered a risk, as over the last two years large oaks have blown down here.  I see the advantage of this though as it has let quite  bit of light in to the area, and this may make the water more visible and an attraction to passing birds, we shall have to see, but a Snipe or Woodcock would be nice.

I stopped to check the trees at Thrush corner, there were no thrushes, but at the top of the Leylandi conifer was a Greta Spotted Woodpecker, they really love it at the top of the trees.



I walked down towards the school, and stopped to admire the scene to the north, with the colours you would more associate with the evening sky present at noon.



I turned up Gradwell, and in the field was a tractor with cutting equipment. It looked lkike it was removing the grass strip around the outside the field, if so it is another attempt to stop the public walking these strips, we shall have to see.  

I took the footpath to Lymington Bottom, scattering yet again a good number of Magpies, I am not sure what the attraction is here, but you can guarantee to see good numbers, helpful I suppose if you are looking for a wish!

My attention was then taken by movement again in the sky above me, this time though two  bi-planes that I think they are tiger moths, but I am sure if I am wrong I will be corrected.



A quick walk, with a bit more activity than on Sunday, but a typical winter's day.  On Saturday, Ian and I visited Blashford lakes, the highlight of which was the Starling Murmarations in the late afternoon.  Have a look here, but if you get the chance go and see it for real.

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