Thursday, 2 September 2010

Back from the Dead

Ah, September and I can breathe again! The Death Zone of July - August is passed and once again migrant birds are on the move, streaming many thousands of feet above Cuddesdon, never once stopping. Didcot Power station still catches the eye, shame about that bloody Kestrel getting in the way of the view though:

And, being September, the hirundines have gone crazy. House Martins gather in huge flocks on the roofs of houses in the village (or should they be Roof Martins?) often joined by Swallows. Autumn fever leads to some strange confrontations:
Meanwhile out in the fields the hedgerows are bursting with fruit:

While the clear blue skies of this week have brought out the raptors, including this very pale juvenile Buzzard:

A spot of inter-thermal aggression here, as this Red Kite asserts himself against a female Sparrowhawk:

The wheat fields have been ploughed in this week, obviously (in my mind only) to attract Wheatears. Yesterday afternoon I took my daughter out for a walk with the words "Come on, its early September, the fields are ploughed, lets find a Wheatear". Even at 5 months she gave me a look that spelt out the words she could not speak: "you sad bastard". Less than 10 minutes later, as a slim brown passerine with a white tail, tipped with black, flicked past, I punched the air with vindication: Wheatear:

And today a migrant garden tick - a Yellow Wagtail calling strongly as it headed east over the village. It can't be long before the Skua passage starts...

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