Saturday, 23 July 2011
Headley Heath holds a special place in my natural history heart. It is one of those places that I cut my ornithological teeth on back in the 1970s, with evenings spent in the company of Nightjars and Woodcocks. More recently it has been the moths and plants that have caught my attention there. Today I visited with moss and lichen in mind, but it was the birdlife that stole the show.
I took the picture above whilst sitting on a bench (very dude, I know) taking in the view and scanning the sky for anything that might float by. Earlier in the morning I had heard a calling Hawfinch maybe half a mile from this spot, but was still delighted to then see a flock of 11 of these magnificent finches fly from left to right across the far valley shown in this photo. I have seen Hawfinches here before, in this very spot, one October morning back in 2005 when a flock of eight entertained me for up to 10 minutes, I have since refered to this place as 'Hawfinch valley' (this being reinforced today) even though I have only seen this species here twice in the 36 years of visiting!
Today I downloaded the new Birdguides app for the Dragonflies and Damselflies of the UK. If you have the means to view apps, I would strongly recommend it. Marvellous stuff.