Friday, 15 March 2013


Well I got up early and despite being on my fourth day of nicotine withdrawal I was feeling somewhat refreshed and ready to hit the road, sadly I had one important job to do...clean the feeders. The cold snap has seen up to 8 Wood Pigeons fighting over the seed table, the end result shed loads of seed on the ground and some rather pigeon-pooh stained feeders. After that I grabbed a coffee took a quick glance outside the window, nothing on the feeders so off I went. As I pulled out the drive I clocked the reason why no birds were on the feeder, standing guard was this male Sparrowhawk.

Wasn't going to post it as it was taken through the glass of the car windows (memo to self, clean car) and the harsh side light coming in from the left, but I noticed the white markings on the birds wings, similar to that which Richard Pegler had photographed and remarked about on his blog and given all the corvids in my area are also developing white primaries was wondering if anyone had any ideas why the white bits. I hope this individual is the same bird that has bred near me for the last two years, fingers crossed.
I went down to the Billing Aquadrome as the petrol station does some fantastic sandwiches to have for my lunch later on and whilst polishing off my second coffee of the day I was scanning the Great Crested Grebes and Gulls for anything of note when I spied two Oystercatchers near the Billing Mill pub. It's a bit of shame this area, litter strewn all over the place, heroin addicts chasing heroin and potheads getting high in their cars don't make it an ideal place to step out with "tasty" camera gear, but I did, a monopod isn't just for carrying a camera on y'know! It is a shame as I've seen Oystercatchers breeding not too far away from the new leisure complex on the Aquadrome and even venturing around the pubs tables around people oblivious to their presence before, Kingfishers, Otters, Common Terns and even a Peregrine chasing gulls once.
Sadly one of the bad things of today was the contrast in the weather, sunny and bright in the morning and by the afternoon the dark grey clouds had rolled in, which was a pity as I took a stroll down the same Public Byway I did yesterday, the two Goldcrest still chasing all from "their" part of the hedgerow, I also found a pair of Skylarks sadly flying way up into the grey clouds also six Buzzards circling and calling to each other, but what got me really excited was the addition of four Redkites. I was excited as I've never seen one passing over this spot, nevermind four on the same day. Will they stay? Will they breed nearby? Fingers crossed.  You can't, in my opinion beat a soaring Redkite, fantastic bird. Sadly it was a weird sky, some sunshine behind my back but grey skies in front...still if the Redkites remain nearby I shall hopefully get better images....that's cursed that then! I also had a flock of twenty Redwings and approximately fifteen Fieldfare in the lane, still hanging around.


  1. Bet you are like a dog with two tails or should that be a Kite with forked tail....Brilliant!

    1. Thanks Adrian, I was indeed like a dog with two tails, very happy indeed

  2. Good luck with the no smoking Doug; took a big scare to get me to stop lol

    The Sparrowhawk is a lovely sight, although I doubt the other birds would agree. Cracking shot of the Oystercatcher too. I used to visit Billing a few years ago, but last time I went the car park/entrance charge was horrendous. I used to cut through by the pub, but couldn't do it last time.
    Red Kite ..... excellent!

    1. Well I've got a bet on with a friend so I'm motivated by money to give up lol.
      You can still access Billing Aquadrome in the way you mention, if park in the pub carpark there's a green footbridge over (public footpath) but to be honest there isn't normally too much there these days.