Saturday, 7 February 2009

Cuddesdon Winter Wonderland

Its Saturday, its sunny and there's 10cm of snow on the ground: time to get out there! Immediate success: a Peregrine, the first I've seen in these parts, stoops at a pasing Fieldfare, before shooting off low towards the Chilterns and puts up a large flock of passerines... I will check those out later. There's lots of raptors about, keen to find prey in these cold conditions. A few of these:

Kestrel, male

Lots of these:

Red Kite

And even one of these:

Red Fox

I work my way around the fields, only slightly disturbed by the sound close gunshots, and investigate the flocks disturbed by the Peregrine. Expecting them to be distant Fieldfares (there are regularly flocks of 200+ at the moment), I am amazed to find the whole flock is made up of Skylarks. At least 210 of them! And at least 200 more than I've seen here before.

Skylarks. Part of the large feeding flock of over 210 birds to the east of the village

There are also Redwings passing over, 56 Lapwing head south, Grey Partridge calling and a few Coot (again, the first I've seen here) are frozen out onto the ice on the private pond:

Even my small back garden is heaving with birdlife, A male Kestrel in trees at the back, 4 Red Kites overhead and a female type Blackcap feeding under the bird table:

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