Sunday, 11 January 2009

Friday evening

After a torrid week gave up work at lunchtime and up to Whittle Dene for a quick look then ended at the raptor viewpoint on the Carr. Sun setting in a clear sky to the west with almost full moon to the east. A male Stonechat flitted across the lane and perched on a fence before heading off to roost. A bird feeding in the reeds was making small calls as it moved but wasn’t going to show….just then a commotion in the middle of the field as two Roe Deer had a head to head the loser coming towards me until at 25 metres he realise my presence and bounded off whilst the victor looked on with disdain. Whose idea was it to give deer a white backside?

Aha! The reed bird is disturbed and the groan, or is it a wail, means the suspect is a Water Rail. A welcome return to my list in 2008 after an absence of a few years.
A small flock of 48 Meadow Pipits squeaks overhead to their roost site in the rank grass……strangely, or is it just nature? next to the favoured roost of their arch enemy…the Hen Harrier. None present just now but watch this space.
Back to the motor car as a Grey Partridge calls to the west and a Snipe flushes from the field edge, both species being far fewer in number than I remember although the August flood last year brought in excellent numbers of the latter.

45. Stonechat
46. Water Rail
47. Grey Partridge
48. Snipe

Will it be the half ton tomorrow?

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