I made a visit to Coldhabour Lane in White Waltham, Berks today hoping that I might get a chance of seeing Merlin, after touring the lane and viewing the fields from a number of vantage points I hadn't seen much and apart from a small flock of finches that flew over it was very quiet. As I approached the A4 I noticed a large flock of Fieldfare 150+ feeding in the fields and stopped to take a look, a small number of Redwing were joining the Fieldfare and the hash chattering call of the Fieldfare was unmistakable.
I decided to drop in to Remenham on my way back home and making my way along Remenham Lane I soon noticed a number of Finches flying across the road and into a nearby hedge, I stopped the car and in the process of getting my scope out I startled 2 Egyptian Geese that were feeding in the edge of the field, they soon made their way out in to the field and were joined by 32 Greylag Geese that flew in from the River Thames direction.
Looking along the hedgerows soon gave me a glimpse of a Yellowhammer sitting in the hedge and then I noticed a large amount of birds darting in and out of the crops growing along the edge of the field, I was soon rewarded with some close views of Brambling, Yellowhammer, Linnet and Chaffinch in a flock that must have amassed some 75+ birds. They were feeding in the crops and returning to the hedgerows every few minutes and this continued for over 25 minutes, I continued scanning the hedgerows until I found another flock of Finches further away perching in a large tree next to the track. Even though they were at a distance it was easy to see another small flock of 20+ Brambling with another small Finch flock. They continued feeding whilst I watched them and at one point I had Brambling and Yellowhammer both feeding on the floor only metres away from me on the other side of the gate. There are a number of Pheasant pens in the area and the crops and seed that are left to entice the Pheasants and other game for shooting are obviously benefiting the Finch flocks. A covey of Red-legged Partridges were heard long before 7 came running up the track towards me, it wasn't long before they disappeared into the crops in front of me followed by another 5 shortly after. 3 Ring-necked Parakeets passed over nosily and headed off towards Temple Island and 2 Red Kites drifted over the fields towards Aston.
Seems to be a good year for Brambling with flocks being seen at Penn Wood, Wycombe & Chisbridge Lane, Frieth and now Remenham, Berks to name but a few.
Added To My Year List 2008.
107. Ring-necked Parakeet