We were in Wiltshire on Saturday night, spending the day in Salisbury and Shaftesbury during the day. When we left in the morning under grey skies a lone Swallow flew across the A31 has we left the village.
Getting back late afternoon the skies were still leaden, but it was still and every so often the sun would break through lighting up the autumn leaves.
I have a new camera, it arrived on Friday, and I have been itching to use it since then. I decided that there was better chance of finding something to test it on at the farm, so I drove to the base of the Mountains footpath and walked up the hill. I stopped at the Yew trees to see if I could hear the Firecrests as they would make the perfect study. I could hear them but they never came close, there were also Goldcrests, a Marsh Tit and quite a few Long-tailed Tits.
Now for the technical bits, this was taken at ISO 1600, and the detail is superb, with hardly any noise.
Around me I continued to hear the Firecrests, and a Nuthatch called from high in the trees.
I decided to walk up to the pond, hopeful that maybe there be quite a few warblers about. Unfortunately there wasn't but there were a few birds moving around to keep me interested. A Blue Tit had just had a bath in the pond.
And a female Chaffinch sat quietly waiting for the sun to strengthen.
I walked up to the style where the footpath leads down through the park, looking over in the direction of Chawton the trees look superb.
Driving around Wiltshire and Dorset over the last few days we noticed the wonderful colours in the trees, the Beech seem to have exploded just recently into a wonderful range of yellows and oranges. The trees here to were also showing off in their autumn colours.
I walked around the estate and came down the path past the quarry. There were two Chiffchaffs calling, and I managed to find them but they were very mobile and impossible to photograph.
I cross the road and headed up through Plain Farm. Just past the workshops I turned off to check the field, and disturbed four Grey Partridges and they flew off across the field and finally merging into the grey brown of the soil.
Pied Wagtails were calling from around the barn, and on the wires. There were six in total, with this one as usual sitting on the roof of the barn.
I walked down the lane, and there were Yellowhammer on the wires, and then I noticed two smaller birds fly catching from the wire. They were Stonechats and a pair, probably the pair I saw a couple of weeks ago. The male was happier in the bushes and disappeared while the female watched me closely as I crept up on it.
Then she dropped into the top of the hedge and I was able to get a photo of both of them.
Then the male decided to sit nicely for me, and I could really see the difference in the camera.
A little further on I heard a call from a Magpie followed by a Crow, and then almost immediately after that a Red Kite appeared and settled on the dead branches of the trees by the cottages, the crow though still not happy it was there.
The Crow also settled close by, but the Red Kite did not seem to be too concerned.
I managed to get a little closer and able to get a rare photograph of a Red Kite around here sitting in a tree.
Then the Magpie decided to mob it once again and it flew off, coming towards me.
And as it flew off, the Crow decided to make sure it kept going away.
Then coming over my head.
I walked on, and as I came around the corner I heard a call I had heard yesterday as we walked along a chalk stream, I didn't expect to hear it here again though, but in front of me was a Grey Wagtail and it was pumping its tail up an down in that exhausting way.
This now makes three sightings this year, this time though it was in a place that did look about right for this species.
A little purple patch of birds, which was great, and the perfect way to test out the camera.
I headed towards Charlwood where there was very little about, a few Yellowhammers were on the wires, but nothing much else. As we approached the houses a Robin was acting aggressively on a fence post, the target of its aggression was feeding on the grass.
The fields were full of Corvids and Woodpigeons, and there were also lots of Jackdaws and Rooks in the sky calling and performing acrobatics. Every so often the Rooks would fly up in huge flocks.
I have remarked about the wonderful autumn colour in the trees all over the place, but in Winchester Wood there was still a few green leafy glades.
I was now close to the car, and as I came down the hill a Buzzard was circling over the Mountains area, the sun highlighting it against the grey clouds.
The camera is superb, I have a Canon 7D mark II, and it works so much better with my large 100-400mm lens. However I only have it for a few weeks before it goes back into the packaging for Christmas. It is going to be a long time to Christmas when I give it back up!
Great walk today,some quality birds and views, the camera never lies!