Friday 9 January 2015

8th January - Marlbrough Downs

I managed to find a suitable window in the weather to check out a potential route for a winter or summer walk on the Marlborough Downs. The target species for this were farmland birds, notably corn bunting and yellowhammer, and roe deer.

The walk started well with a showy pair of stonechat, that moved along the fenceline with me.

As I carried on there were good views of fieldfare feeding in the fields as well as kestrel and buzzard hovering over the grasslands. A flock of linnet were kind enough to pose on a bush for me.

Further on the route I was lucky enough to find two more pairs of stonechat and good numbers of skylark and meadow pipit, as well a brief views of a disappearing yellowhammer.

As I walked by an area of rough grass, some movement caught my eye...

Fantastic!  A female roe deer, keeping half an eye on me. Now the important thing is not to face directly towards her, otherwise she will realise I have seen her and she will be away...

Success! this picture was taken under my left arm at right-angles to her.

As I continue my walk, my attention is drawn to a oil seed rape field with small brown birds flying around in groups and dropping in. As I get closer I can hear the calls of corn bunting - great stuff! After a while a number of them fly up into a nearly small tree.

A fair few of the males were starting to sing their jangling song - always great to hear. I slowly moved forward as the birds started to disperse, hopefully one or two might stay until I was quite close.

Well one stayed anyway! So all in all a pretty successful walk with the target species seen and more besides, another route ready to use in the future. (NA)

No comments:

Post a Comment