Friday, 28 July 2017

Friday July 28

Cloudy and cool with a moderate westerly breeze, and persistent drizzle setting in. These are exactly the conditions you don't want when you are showing a friend around your hallowed patch.

I walked around with Richard Brooke after making the schoolboy error of revealing my wish list of potential year-ticks as we drove there.

We saw very few interesting birds, and the passerines we did see, such as Lesser Whitethroat, disappeared into the hedgerows within seconds of popping out. The main pool still has a substantial muddy edge but no waders, and the furthest flash remains full of water and screened by long grass.

The nearest flash did produce an impressive 12 Green Sandpipers, and 25 Lapwings, while two Roe Deers, which charged across the field, flushed a single Snipe.

With very few insects on the wing we were left to look at mammals, which consisted of another Roe Deer, a Brown Hare, and a Fox (on the drive back).

Roe Deer trotting along a tramline in the wheat field
The ridge field contained lots of Ragwort, and each plant was being fed upon by Cinnabar Moth caterpillars.

Finally, we decided that the champagne moment was a Sparrowhawk which powered low into the field and emerged abruptly pursuing a small bird (possibly a Goldfinch) in a brief aerial dog-fight before giving up and heading away.

Even on a rotten visit, you always see something.

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