10 Apr 2016

10th April 2016 Hither and thither!


Sunday 10th 43/48F, 6/9C, rather windy with a bright overcast. Neighbour's smoke 6/10 for effort. Simultaneous chainsawing  of demolition timber -6. The forecast is for further brightening. Time for a walk. I saw lots of birds of prey soaring or circling over the fields and woods yesterday. Then I was treated to a flying display by a female Kestrel over the 'back field' as I updated my blog.

The fields were dry enough this morning to allow me to walk the machine tracks without accumulating too much mud. The brightness faded to dull grey with a rather cold and gusty, easterly wind. Several groups of keen cyclists passed going in opposite directions. I managed to snap most of the largest group, of about twenty riders,  across the corner of a field after they had made a sharp right turn. An 8-wheeled, balloon tired, forestry machine was tidying branches on the other side of a hilly field. Silent plumes of blue smoke rose from its exhaust stack as its long arm wrestled with a tree. Too far away for a decent shot.[With a camera of course.]

A Chiffchaff was busy in the field hedge trees and gave me plenty of opportunity to watch its fluffed-up, portly form tumbling about as it foraged. A Shelduck was upending to feed on a shrinking, winter, field pond. As I walked back along the road I could hear the deep bock-bock-bock of a woodpecker in the nearby copse. With a robin trilling its bell-like song in a much higher octave. Then, just as I was about to enter our drive a female Kestrel came sailing around the trees and flew right over my head only fifteen feet high. It then flew on and without flinching, straight through the dense canopies of several large trees as if they weren't even there.

It is good to see the Wagtails back in increasing numbers. I presume they are migrators because I haven't seen many this year as yet. One was a regular visitor to the ridge of our house roof over several years. Finally, rather a ruddy wren was bombing about in the hedge as I arrived home.
The forestry machine was more accessible by late afternoon. It seems a shame to be removing all that potential habitat at the beginning of the nesting season. Just a short ride for 7 miles.
Click on any image for an enlargement.


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