Wednesday, 12 September 2007

September Local Sightings

I cleaned all the feeders out and gave them a good scrub-up in anticipation of an Autumn rush, boy was I wrong, over the last month they have been extremely quiet with the only sightings being a single male Greenfinch, single Female Chaffinch and the odd Great Tit. It remained quiet until the 26th when 5 Goldfinches came to the feeders and have been visiting daily since, a number of Jackdaws are using the peanut feeders. I know there can be a lull in activity when birds are going through moult and are often hidden away in the hedgerows, there is also a wide range of food amongst the hedgerows at the moment.

A number of Badgers were seen over the first week of September around the cottage, presumably visiting nearby gardens for worms etc late at night. 10pm On the 9th we almost ran one over as he ran out in front of the car and along the driveway, we followed slowly behind it as it trotted along the drive in front of us and then crossed over towards the nearby field. Since then not one has been seen.

The Little Owls are still present perched in a number of their favorite spots but with a lack of sun they are often only heard. A number of Tawny Owls have been calling near to our cottage and from the nearby woods, they seem to have had a good breeding year. On the 5th 2 Tawny Owls were perched on telephone poles at the top of Shogmoor lane, Frieth and on the 6th of September a single Tawny Owl was perched on the same post, this continued on and off for most of September at 7.45 - 8pm. Another was heard calling at mid-day on the 12th at Kingwood,Stoke Row.

A Chiffchaff was heard calling from the orchard at around 1pm on the 12th, no doubt a bird on return passage. October usually sees a number of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler passing through the garden.

Red Kite numbers seem to be averaging 4 to 6 birds throughout the month along with 4 Common Buzzards. A male Sparrowhawk was circling over the cottage on the 21st, and a dead female sparrowhawk was found next to the cottage in the paddock, on closer inspection the head had been removed but the rest of the bird was intact.

4 Red-legged Partridge passed through the garden on the 23rd and plenty of Pheasants about, a single juvenile Green Woodpecker is still feeding on the lawns. A single Wood Pigeon is in most evenings to drink from the bird bath and have a quick wash and a Wren is roosting inside an air brick on the outside of the cottage. Rook, Crow and Jackdaw numbers all seem to be increasing slowly and can be found in most of the fields next to the cottage, maybe due to sheep grazing in them.The Jackdaws have again started hanging off the peanut feeders.

On my way home on the 25th a Stag had been hit by a lorry on the Skirmett to Hambleden road, they often cross the road with no warning from the fields near the Luxters farm turning from where they usually graze. A number of people were helping but it didn't look too good.

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