Sunday, 22 February 2009

Hares, Scares and Partridges

Another beautiful morning, the sky full of singing Skylarks, the hedges of singing Yellowhammers. Also 15 Meadow Pipit in the set-aside, no Snipe though, wonder if a dog walker got here first... The riverside trees held 4 Cormorants, and then I saw my first Hare in these parts - apparently being preened by a Carrion Crow here:
It then saw me and was last seen still running 3 fields away, my idle dreams of watching Hares dancing in March may remain just that - dreams. A Red-legged Partridge then began singing, and afterwards I found 3 more in fields nearer the village. None from August to February, then 4 in one day. Is it Spring?
I have discovered that I am not being shot at. Often when walking the hedgerows I have heard the sound of gunshots at close range, but have never actually seen anybody, let alone a gun. Now I know why:
Birdscarers! They fire automatically, often 3 times, but as far as I can tell only make a loud noise, rather than actually discharge anything. The number of Woodpigeons here is enormous, so I am guessing they are designed to discourage them. These birdscarers have no effect on the Buzzards or Red-legged Partridges perched nearby nearby today, although I would not like to be in front of one when it goes off. Also 110 Lapwing over.

It may be Mid-February, but for some red-listed species the nesting season is already underway: female House Sparrow with nesting material on my roof.

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