Friday, 1 April 2016

Around the locality

I have been hammering the local fields around my patch in the hope of an early Wheatear, but so far have drawn a blank. I was however pleased to see that last years breeding Tree Sparrows are back in residence. I had taken the spotting scope on this walk as I was also scanning hedgerow tops for Corn Bunting. 

Plenty of Yellowhammers, which I'm always pleased to see, but the small Corn Bunting flock I observed on occasions through the winter has now dispersed. I expected to see some individuals calling from favored perches proclaiming their territory in the early sunshine. Maybe it's still a little too cold? I expect to see them soon. 

I put the scope to use and attached my camera to try and get some pictures of the Tree Sparrows without getting to close and spooking them. 

Later in the week while out enjoying some sunshine, even though temperatures struggled to rise I was lucky enough to get close enough to a feeding Muntjac deer. I held my breath and hoped the shutter sounds from my camera wouldn't spook it. It hung around and I managed a few shots I am pleased with. 


Saturday mornings walk was cut short due to rain. Pete and I were checking an area we occasionally visit to see if Tree Sparrows are also breeding there. There are a few about, but not as many as in our other colony. I would like to think they may also breed here. Will have another look in better weather conditions. As a bonus, we saw our first local Hare of the year as it put some distance between us across the fields.

At some ungodly hour in the early hours of Sunday morning, I went to see if any badgers were about. I arrived in the dark and quietly made my way towards one of their favored areas. As soon as I entered the first field I heard some chattering coming from directly in front of me and only about 80 yards out. I slowly raised my binoculars (it’s amazing just how much more you can see in the dark using them) and there, still chattering away were two badgers rolling around play fighting in the field. They took turns chasing each other, like a game of badger tig, one would catch the other, they would roll about loudly chattering and then one would take off at full flight with the other in pursuit. I watched this until they got bored or too exhausted to carry on and they wandered off. I headed to another area I thought they may visit on their travels and set up the camera. I then took up a comfortable viewpoint downwind and waited to see what unfolded.

— The outcome was pretty poor. Nothing captured on camera and visibility down to a few feet in the darkness due to rain and low lying mist. I had another brief badger sighting, but it soon disappeared into the mist and gloom.  I gave it up as a bad job and headed back home for a much needed nap.

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