Saturday, 17 October 2015

17th October

As I drove out of the village this morning the Rooks around the church suddenly exploded into the air, the cause was soon apparent - a fine Peregrine. This was my first of the year and one of only a handful of parish sightings. It may well have been the same bird seen near Scruton last week.

There was also a marked movement of Redwing today with knots of 50-100 birds almost constantly moving north-west over the village this morning, I also saw my first Fieldfares of the autumn too.

On the lake a couple of Kingfishers have taken up residence for the winter but it is always a surprise to see them flying low over the neighbouring meadow. One today actually veered to fly under a cow’s body!

It reminded me of another anomalous link between cattle and birds when I stayed with John Holloway on Stronsay some years ago. The shipping forecast had predicted exceptionally strong winds and we ended up using an old Ford Escort as a hide overlooking a raging sea and picking out a great range of seabirds including a Leach’s Petrel right over the house.

The next morning, with the storm blown out, we toured the island and I spotted a group of birds flying around a field, they turned out to be Storm Petrels, looping and swooping around the cattle as though they were House Martins in an English meadow.

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