Monday, November 10, 2008

A little bit of bread ... and cheese, but no pickle

I was delighted to find the other day that the stonechat pair are still in our little valley, but there isn't much else to be seen in the way of farmland birds. The reputed hotspot at Marshfield is within reasonable half day range, and the sightings on the website http://www.thebirdsofsouthgloucestershire.co.uk/Patch%20Watch.htm had me turning a gentle shade of green, so with the threat of some sun on Saturday I was off.
There were birds there for sure - stacks of starlings and a fair few corvids for starters -
but the trouble with the little ones is getting within snapshot range when they are down in the fields. The skylarks looked better through binoculars (and this is a crop!), and the wagtails were their usual frustrating selves, ever moving.
A pair of stonechats had the decency to perch in view - see what I mean about the mask-like plumage on the male, rather than the full black head?
Then I saw some colour in a hawthorn tree, and I decided to settle down and wait. A fieldfare and corn bunting came and teased on the wrong side of the twigs.
A chaffinch was the first to provide a reasonable view
followed by a somewhat bedraggled linnet.
Finally though the stars of today's show appeared - still slightly shy, but considering the mass of twiggy branches and the fact that I was kneeling in a field margin (next time a seat and some sort of hide/screen!) I had some OK views.
Lovely morning in the fresh air. Could have been better though, so the sandwich wasn't quite perfect. Next time ...............

As always some better quality pics on the 'latest' web album here

2 comments:

Jane said...

Are the final 3 yellowhammers? You don't say in the post... but I'm sure they must be. I've only had a glimpse of them myself. Good days bird watching by the looks of things. Jane

Brian said...

Hi Jane. The final shots are yellowhammers. I hadn't realised until now I didn't say! I was trying to be a bit of smart-ass and give a clue to what was coming with the post title - not that I heard then give this call on the day. Brian. PS, you've got some good pics and films on your websites - not yet found any good sites for badgers or foxes here