Thursday, 21 May 2009

Same planet, different world

Due to my wedding and honeymoon its been a full 5 weeks since my last visit and the fields around Cuddesdon are literally a different world: the oilseed rape and corn are waist high, the hedgerows are in full leaf and the summer migrants are all in. House Martins, Swifts and Swallows feed above the village, while a harsh "teck" call leads me to a male Lesser Whitethroat in a hedgerow, my first for the area. The first juvenile birds are beginning to appear, this juvenile Goldfinch being in the garden:
The hedgerow below the playing fields holds 2 singing Whitethroat, a pair of Linnet and an active Starling nest:
Juvenile Starling at the nest hole - an old Great-spotted Woodpeckers hole. This is old skool Starling nesting, the type used before man came along and put up badly built houses with gaps under the eaves. Here is an overcropped image of the adult arriving with food:
Whilst crouching in a hedgerow waiting for an adult Starling to arrive at the nest hole (this is normal behaviour isn't it?), this Buzzard makes a low pass:
Down by the river Reed Buntings sing from the rape fields and a Cuckoo calls, before zipping overhead. Then some real excitement, a harsh song from a patch of reeds that is barely the size of my hand, and one of these appears:
Reed Warbler, previously described as "the kind of species the Birdless Cuddesdon Blog can only dream about"! Further along I flush a Red-legged Partridge, while the private pond holds 3 Tufted Duck. Having had such a productive morning, though only Cuddesdon standards, could The Fences keep up with the excitement? I get an answer straight away because perched on the same shrub as it was 5 weeks ago is a Corn Bunting - in fact a pair. So maybe this species is not a unusual passage migrant as I assumed in April, but actually a summer breeder? This theory is backed up by 2 more singing males futher along the track:
The last good bird of the morning comes in the shape of 2 Yellow Wagtails, which are mobile, but one perches for a moment:

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