Saturday, 17 February 2007

Local Countryside. 17th Feb 2007

I decided to take a drive round the local countryside this afternoon and headed off towards Chisbridge near Bovingdon Green.As I drove along the country lanes I noticed a Red Kite perched in a tree by the roadside and decided to stop and see if I could get a photo or two, just as I set my camera up off it flew but I suddenly heard the call of Lapwing, turning round and looking in the fields next to me I spotted a single Lapwing running across the fields, it ran in to a ploughed section of field where it joined up with the rest of it's flock.Looking through the flock I noticed a few browner birds with them and closer inspection showed there to be at least 8 Golden Plover with the 50+ Lapwings, at this point a Skylark burst in to song from way above me and I searched in vain to find it, I hadn't seen one this year and I scanned the sky hoping to see it but with no luck, I pricked my ears up hoping to put a location on it's song when a bird flew down in the furrows of the field metres in front of me, I quickly got my binoculars on it to find a Skylark looking for food, it continued along the furrows and out of sight.I looked back across to the field to where the Plovers were only to find they had gone but a covey of 7 Red-legged Partridges were crossing the fields in hot pursuit of each other.
Heading back to Frieth through Chisbridge I stopped as I watched a flock of 500 Starlings fly over the car and start feeding in a field next to the road, a flock of 150+ Fieldfares joined them and a small number of Redwings.A female Kestrel flew over and perched on a telephone pole but was ushered on by 3 extremely agitated male Blackbirds that were feeding on berries in the bush below.In the fields 3 Hares were feeding and while I watched them 3 Red Kites flew in to view performing aerial combat, one of the Kites then dropped something in to the field and they all wheeled down to get it, two landed in the field and the third perched on a fence post at the side of the field.Within moments another 4 Kites and 2 common Buzzards were circling above and as I watched them a large pale raptor flew in to view and headed off across the fields, I wasn't too sure at what it was at first but as it came to rest on a telegraph pole I realised that it could only be a very pale common Buzzard, there have been a number of reports of a pale Buzzard in the area and can only guess that this could be this bird, it preened for a matter of seconds and headed off in to the distance. I have seen a number of pale individuals over the years but never this pale.
Back in Frieth the local Little Owls looked to have paired up, I found them sat on a farm gate preening each other.

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