I had been talking to a friend who happens to own a significant size of farmland/pheasant shoot. He kept ringing me saying "seen the Merlin again". Problem is he lives in the south of the county on the border of Northamptonshire and Bucks. A bit of travel just on the off chance of seeing a Merlin, especially since there's one within cycling distance of my home.
However I knew his farmland is pretty much farmed as best as it can be for both profit and wildlife.
The morning started with really gloomy and dark skies and with an obligatory coffee too warm my belly I used to fish the private lakes on his land in my youth so knew where I was going to walk plus armed with afew tips to where the Merlin had been spotted, I also wanted to check out a small spinney for some Siskin too.
It was at the spinney in near darkness I got the Kestrel, I apologise for the quality, I've tweaked the exposure during processing which hides how dark the skies were and the wind well less said the better.
As the morning progressed the light got better but very windy which was bitterly cold. I was actually impressed with the birds I was spotting, a small flock of about 150 Starlings left the safety of the reed bed and took the trees and hedges, a lot of Yellowhammers and Linnet, saw eight different Skylarks and the odd Pipit. I opted to hide and use a hedgerow for bit of shelter from the wind. I was watching about 50 Fieldfare, some Starlings and Yellowhammer dropping down into the stubble. Every now and again flushing each other for position.
Here's some dubious record shots in the first one Fieldfare, Starling and Yellowhammer
My friend departed to do some work and seeming as it was a bit brighter headed for another spinney, a lot of Finches with the exception of Greenfinch and Siskin were around in this spinney, it's my favourite one as there is a mix of beech, alder and ash in it plus a boggy surface, I've had Woodcock here before but not today. I did get some Bullfinch though.
I shall be staying around my girlfriends parents home down in Surrey so shall probably be doing more "Range Rover" watching then bird watching but was told to bring my camera as her parents have a rather tame Robin (should be fun, *sarcasm implied*) so shall be Awol for the Xmas period, so to all who drop by and read my blog and to those who comment have a safe Xmas period and lock up you credit cards......MERRY SKINTMAS.. sorry Merry Christmas.