Monday, 3 March 2008

February's Local Sightings.


February started much the same as January with the usual species visiting the garden, a single Marsh Tit continued to visit daily along with the odd cameo from Nuthatch. A male and female Great-spotted Woodpecker have become regular visitors as well as a party of 4 Long-tailed Tits and are regularly found feeding on the peanut feeders, the Long-tailed Tits becoming very tame and giving me a great chance to film them up close.

Long-tailed Tits.

Small numbers of Redwing & Fieldfare have appeared throughout the month and can often be seen feeding alongside Mistle Thrush in the fields around the garden and along Shogmoor Lane,Skirmett. Blackbird numbers have slowly decreased with the remaining birds often being seen together in pairs. Both Black-headed & Common Gull can be found feeding in the fields throughout the Hambleden Valley and would presumably return to roost each night at Little Marlow Gravel Pits. Numerous sightings throughout the month of Tawny & Little Owl and a Barn Owl was seen flying over Shogmoor Lane, Skirmett, early evening on the 1st Feb, Sadly not by me!. Red Kite, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel are all regular species around the garden at the moment with many of the Kites already displaying for potential suitors for the breeding season.


On Wednesday 20th a blanket of fog and a drop in temperature encased the valley around skirmett bringing with it the first sightings of Brambling in the garden, 3 males & 2 females were busy feeding along with Chaffinches under the feeders and making the most of some finch seed and black sunflower that I had thrown out on the lawn, an increased number of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch was very evident with 6 Greenfinches & 4 Goldfinches using the feeders for the day. By the following day 4 of the Brambling had departed leaving a single female which stayed until the 22nd, A single male turned up on mon 25th and was still visiting the garden on the 29th.


Another visit to Chisbridge Lane, Frieth, brought excellent views of the Brambling flock that is still present, at least 30+ are still accompanying the Finch flock that continues to feed on Maze crops near Chisbridge Farm. The Finch flock which is in the religion of 100+ birds are often found sitting in the trees next to the lane and near the double field gates. Whilst watching the brambling a double bang from a nearby crow scarer went off flushing over 200 Woodpigeons from the crops, as I watched them circle up and over the fields 8 red-legged Partridge scurried from the crops and ran down the side of the field, stopping every now and again to look over their shoulder before carrying on across the field . I scanned the area they came from and was delighted to find a single Grey Partridge slowly wandering alongside the crops, just enough time for me to get a few photos before it disappeared into the Maze.

Male Brambling-Chisbridge Lane.

Female Brambling-Chisbridge Lane.

Grey Partridge-Chisbridge Lane.

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