Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Cock is Back!

Another good day... by Cuddesdon standards anyway. I head out mid-morning and decide to see if yesterday's Skylark extravaganva was a one-off. The big flock is still in fields to the east of Cuddesdon, and as they are looking setttled, I spend time getting an accurate estimate of their numbers: a remarkable 300 Skylark! Then finding myself near the river I decide to explore. Why has it taken me 6 months to do this? Immediately I start finding new species for Cuddesdon. First, a Cormorant flies over, and I later relocate it in a river side tree:
Then, as I walk the riverside track, I flush 8 Mallard and 1 noisy Snipe. A Great Spotted Woodpecker drums and there is a very pale Buzzard hunting locally. In snow covered riverside fields is a cunningly camouflaged Mute Swan, and then I notice the Woodpigeons. An enormous flock gathers to feed, at least 1000 Woodpigeon, and a couple of Roe Deer as well:

A loud, clear call makes me look up as a single Golden Plover shoots overhead, nicely illuminated by snow-reflected light from below:

Further towards Chippinghurst is a Grey Heron, and I find my first Common Gull for the village in fields on the way back to Cuddesdon:

Finally, this Red Kite passes low down the High Street, I took this shot from my doorstep:

And thinking that was that, I head inside, into the warmth. Only to glance out into my backyard and find myself face to face with this handsome cock:

The Pheasant is back! But it gets better, much better. While playing a waiting game with the Pheasant, who is hiding behind a plant pot, I notice a smart black-headed passerine near the feeders: a cracking male Reed Bunting!

Not only does he come down to feed, but also brings along a mate: 2 Reed Buntings:
Birdless Cuddesdon? Not today! This weekend has given me faith that good birds can turn up here. You just need to get out there and find them. Now where are those bloody Waxwings?

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