Saturday, 27 October 2012

Winter's birds arrive on the farm

Waves of Fieldfares and Redwings swept across the fields this morning


The roadside hedge,
laden with hawthorn berries
The sea of thrushes that swept onto the East coast early in the week never really made it inland... Not, that is, till this morning when wave upon wave of Redwing and Fieldfare came rolling in from the East. Presumably these are the birds from the coast, now moving inland, though they could feasibly be a new batch of birds coming in on the bitterly cold northerly airflow which finally reached us overnight.
I searched and searched for a ring ouzel. Surely there must be one in amongst all these thrushes. But again I drew a blank.
I know what will happen. One day, when I'm least expecting it, there will be a Ring Ouzel hopping about on the ground. Maybe I'm looking too hard.
At one point, all the thrushes took to the air en masse. Next thing I knew a Peregrine falcon whooshed past me, just feet away, making two passes low through the garden right in front of me. Wow!
At times the hawthorn bushes were dripping with redwings

Don's field was full of Fieldfares and Starlings
The cold winds brought in the first wild swans too. 13 Whooper Swans flew over in formation. On the other side of my land, up to a couple of hundred Lapwings settled in the newly sown wheat field, joined by about fifty Golden Plovers.

And, over the long grass just beyond the chickens, a barn owl gave prolonged close views as it hunted for voles.
Yes, today's avifauna had a distinctly wintery feel about it, as did the air.
Believe you me, it was not easy taking pictures through a telescope with numb fingers encased in woolly gloves!
When I could no longer feel my toes I retreated to the farmhouse to warm myself up with a giant bowl of porridge.

Golden Plovers and Lapwings
Birds of the winter

Friday 26th October 2012
A nip in the air

Saturday 27th October 2012
Distinctly clear...and cold.

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