Thursday, 2 March 2017

Eight nervy Stonechats


My first visit to Priest Hill in over a week. We are now well into 'Stonechat Spring Passage' time, and as I entered the meadows my expectations were for at least three of these little beauties, and if the count reached six or above then I would be very happy indeed - the final tally was of eight, all together in a loose flock, with three of them males (including a very smart individual). They were all a bit nervy, and try as I might, I wasn't able to obtain any worthwhile photographs (which leaves you free from being inflicted with yet more Stonechat porn). A flock of 20 Fieldfare (one of them above) crept about the large meadow, playing hide and seek in amongst the grass, with a flock of 40 Stock Dove nearby. The wind died down during the afternoon and the temperature rose in response. It did indeed feel like Spring. I am full of hope that this site will repay frequent visits in the coming weeks.

5 comments:

  1. Fiekdfare looks north, sensing the time to leave is near

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  2. Have you met any other birder's in there, or is it pretty much unwatched apart from yourself, Steve?

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    1. There are very few others Seth, and I get the impression that nobody is 'working' the patch as such. Having said that, there are a nucleus of naturalists keeping an eye on the plants, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies who can also turn their attention to the birds if the fancy takes them. Most birders shun such a place - no water, most of the time few birds to grill - but believe me, there is high potential during the spring and Autumn, plus the odd surprise at other times (such as the Cattle Egret).

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    2. Still reckon you'll get a decent gull or wader (godwit sp?) on the football fields below, a shrike in the scrubby bits and a Dartford in the grass. Yeah Cattle Egret, bit of an electrifying bolt from the blue that one eh! Great to know it's being watched by naturalists.

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