Sunday, 7 October 2012

Wick Bottom

Being unable to raise myself out of bed early this morning I decided nonetheless to check out one of my local patches, Wick Bottom (immediately east of Sheepcote valley for those that don't know). Started well with 6 Stonechat all within a few metres of each other; a while since I've seen that many together. Clearly stuff was passing - though it seemed slow compared to yday, when I'd logged c250 Swallows & c600 House Martins in little over an hour over Sheepcote, along with a flock of 23 Jays ! Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Siskins and Pied Wags were all moving in small nos; the only Jay flock consisted of 7 NE, but a large Jackdaw gathering must have numbered c200 (near Roedean). A lone Brambling flew west, calling and 5 Yellowhammer was a good count for the area. What I decided must've been a Kestrel (Merlin was a brief poss) flew straight at me carrying a small mammal in it's talons before disappearing from view. Then the highlight of the day (and the weekend come to that) was a Short-eared Owl right in front of me, being harrassed by Jackdaws; it flew above my head (about 10 m away) and looked just stunning with that beautiful azure blue October sky behind it. It gradually gained height before moving off south. Then a moment later another SEO popped out and put on a similar performance.  Fantastic birds.

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