Thursday, September 22, 2005

Moorhen 1 Tree Pipit 1

The most autumnal morning by far - dank and misty. As I chomped on my cereal at my desk, I was surprised to see a Moorhen wander in to the garden, pick around the lawn and then wander off, across the drove and into the misty field opposite. Only the second Moorhen to venture in/through my pond-free garden.

As a stepped outside my second surprise of the morning came in the form of a TREE PIPIT which flew up from under the fruit trees! What a fantastic garden tick (no. 113 - Click here for full up-to-date garden list). Unfortunately, although I retreated back in to the porch and enjoyed views of it partially hidden in one of the trees, my neighbour appeared with his two dogs and off it shot calling as it flew down the line of elms by the house. I followed, but no sign in my two walks down the tree line, or since in the garden. Shame - Treepits are fab birds to watch creep around feeding, bobbing their back end around. The camera was set up just in case it does creep back in – but it didn’t.

Standing in the garden, and through the clearing mist I could hear the autumn tinkling of several more Robins than normal, a couple of Skylarks in subsong sounding quite mournful, the constant seep-seep of Meadow Pipits bouncing round the stubble fields, the distinctive chatter of Tree Sparrows among the chirping and squawking of the sparrow and starling roost in the neighbours leylandii hedge, and the rasping call of a single Grey Partridge. Just one of those mornings when its almost joyous to be alive! Then the neighbouring farmyard machinery started up and drowned out all but the noisiest of calls!

Around the fen my great start to the day continued with -

Merlin, 1 fem/imm fem (same bird as recent days)
Peregrine, 1 tatty ad male (same bird as recently on Blackbush)
Marsh Harrier, 1 1st summer male (new bird)
Yellow Wag, 2
Reed Warbler, 2
Common Whitethroat, 1
Meadow Pipits, c.70+ - well up on recent days
Swallow, 30+ through to south
Blackbird, 15 - well up on recent days
Song Thrush, 5 - could all be local birds popping out of the woodwork, but only been recording 1-2 in recent weeks
Tawny Owl, being mobbed by many birds inc Great Spotted Woodpecker
Dunnocks, 4 calling from a single sugar beet field (last weeks observation of Dunnocks in beet fields wasn't a one off then!)

What a great morning!

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