Thursday, 14 October 2010

Midweek Update

After a cracking end to Sunday, its back down to earth with a bump.
Spent Monday sorting out the images and trying to fight off a chesty cough that has been coming and going for the past week.
Tuesday looked quite nice for a raptor watch so headed off to Sandon/Kelshall. Took a very long winded route, avoiding closed roads and diversions everywhere. The countryside is looking very nice in the autumn sunshine. Eventually got to Coombe Road and stopped for a bit. Large herd of Fallow Deer in the lower scrubby fields, a couple of Buzzards but nothing else. Peregrine, Hen Harrier and Ravens have been seen recently.
Drove back along to Kelshall and found that Deadman's Hill road was shut, so came back via another diversion and drove down one of the supposedly closed roads I'd avoided earlier.
Wednesday was cool and dull. Went down to Fairlands Valley in the middle of the town. Used to visit regularly but it's only really worth doing on quiet weekdays. One Cormorant, and one Great Crested Grebe on the lakes. Not much in Monks Wood which is getting a bit overgrown-no coppicing taking place any more. Plenty of tits and crests, and Jays everywhere. Got another Nuthatch on the way back.
Down to Amwell in the afternoon. Bill was leaving and mentioned a few Tree Sparrows had been seen in set aside fields. Met up with the photographer Brian and a regular couple and as the watchpoint was not doing anything for us, headed up the old railway line, across the road and into the fields. No sign of the Sparrows, just a huge flock of Pheasant. A few corvids and Blackbirds were around, but even thought the hedge and woods seemed full of berries and seed we did not see any thrushes or warblers. Came back, and while Brian was shooting the hop vines over the Ash bridge, we watched a tandem pair of Migrant Hawkers.
Today is very cold, dull and drizzly. The chest is playing up again, but decided to try and clear things with a walk through Aston End and back up along the Beane. Six Redwings at Aston End. Most of the fields have been ploughed and rolled so plenty of bare earth for larks, gulls and pigeons. One portion of a very large field had eleven alba Wagtails feeding. Got the impression there was many more in the bits I could not see. Rest of the walk was a bit quiet but there are still a couple of Bullfinch down by the river.

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