I was not able to get up to the Loch of Strathbeg to twitch the Sandhill Crane this weekend, due to various commitments. Hope it stays a while.
The high pressure over the Continent has not been all that great in producing much in the way of good birds, and those that have appeared have not really lingered, so we decided to save a bit of cash. The fine autumnal weather has prompted me to get out locally with the camera and look at landscapes. Have yet to process the results though.
Yesterday I went out around Aston End and up the (dry) river Beane. In the local conifer plantation, I was surprised to find a pair of Treecreepers-I have walked through these woods since they were planted around 1970 and have never seen Treecreepers here before. I assume they were associating with a fairly mobile tit flock. I also heard a Nuthatch here-a species that has only occasionally encountered here in the last few years.
A pair of Bullfinches near the Crown pub was nice. Most of the nearby fields are or have been ploughed and as usual there were Skylarks moving around and a large flock of Lesser Black Backs, also five Red Legged Partridge near the ford. The hedges seem to have been cut recently so Yellowhammers and finches were rather scarce.
Birds of prey included two Buzzards over Lords farm being mobbed by corvids, and at least six others could be seen to the north and east. A pair of Kestrels were seen several times and appear to have young in one of the trees judging by the noise. Finally another pair of Bullfinches were heard near the radio mast at Chells Manor.
Few butterflies despite the sun, one Small Copper, one Red Admiral and a few Speckled Woods.
Today I drove over to Sandon and then south and east through some of the remoter villages.
Eight Buzzards at Deadmans Hill, along with a Kestrel and a female Sparrowhawk that disturbed a very big flock of Skylarks and Linnets. A couple of Corn Buntings flew through, and there were a few red legged Partridges too.
Not much seen on the drive, apart from soaring Buzzards everywhere, and I 'only' managed to see one Red Kite.