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Monday, April 8, 2013

What happened to March?!

Apologies to anyone who follows my blog and has wondered why there have not been any posts recently. March was a hectic time for me, racing towards retirement and some family matters to be dealt with, so whilst I did get out for a few walks and have some pictures to upload I didn't get a chance to sit down at the computer and put words to screen.

This post then is a catch up of what I saw over the month and starts with foggy conditions on the 5th. I went for a short walk across the fields from Stantway to towards Combe Wood Lane as the early morning fog began to lift. 
Looking towards Wadeford

There were good numbers of Redwing feeding on the short grass, though they must have struggled to find much as the ground was covered in frost  and crunchy underfoot.

As more of the fog lifted I noticed some movement on a hedgerow towards Holland's Wash Drove. On closer inspection I could see two buzzard sitting side by side on the top of the hedge, perhaps waiting for a passing meal?

After a while, one appeared to jump up and pounce back down but I couldn't see if it was after prey or just wing stretching. 
On the 13th I visited Barrington Court on one of the few bright, if still very cold days. The gardens were nearly empty and the few birds that were about, like this male blackbird, were taking advantage of the recently dug earth to search for worms. It was quite happy to let me walk up close,and was probably a resident and quite used to the public being about.


On the 19th, on my usual route to get my morning paper, across the fields from Stantway and then into SSW via the green lane from Combe Wood Lane I was pleased to see a song thrush feeding. It seems such a shame that this lovely shy bird is seen less and less these days. 
On reaching SSW I was pleased to see that one of the nest boxes( number 4)  which had fallen down from one of the trees at north end had been put back up, this time on a tree towards the south end. (Thanks to the chaps who work so hard to maintain this peaceful little haven in the village centre). I was even more delighted to see it was being inspected by a blue tit and can report that a pair have been seen taking in nesting material since.

Finally, on the 28th, after some overnight snow which gave some wintry scenes across the valley once again and 

no doubt to the annoyance of the wildlife, like this rabbit in a field near Cat tail, in Wadeford,
I was delighted to see some Siskins in someone's garden, having failed to see any in my own this year, feeding alongside a Goldfinch. What I was actually looking for though were Redpoll,  as I had never seen these in the parish and I was getting very frustrated as at least three different people had reported them on their bird feeders this winter and every time I tired to spot them I "dipped" out, as they say in birding parlance! Anyway, I can report that I did in fact see them in the same garden as I saw these Siskins, but unfortunately I have not, as yet, managed to get any good photos of them, though I will go on trying!

Anyway, sorry for such a long post, I will endeavour to keep more up to date in future!

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