A Chill in the Air

A Chill in the Air - Jackdaw
A Chill in the Air

There was a real nip to the wind today as I wandered the patch. The sun was doing her best to fight back the autumnal chill in the air; and when I found a sheltered pocket she did her job beautifully, the odd spot felt positively summer. But then you’d be hit by the wind again and be reminded that it is indeed autumn.

A Chill in the Air

Sadly the day was another day where the parks trust had tractors on site, trimming back the weedy edges (or manicuring the heck out of nature, you decide!), so the bird life was very disturbed, and in many cases non-existent. This does ask the question why, at a time when small birds are moving through the country looking for food, the nature reserve is having all the seedy headed weeds hacked down and removed.

With the bird life thin on the ground (or water) fortunately there were other aspects of nature to stir my passions, Common Darter are reaching their peak, with each foot step along the sun warmed path sending at least one of these ruddy brown, masters of the air, into flight.

Common Darter
Common Darter

Chasing Butterflies

Red Admirals could be found feeding in among the late bees and hoverflies, on the ivy bushes dotted around. And Small Coppers sunned themselves on the late dandelions. The clashes of bright orange, subtle browns and glorious yellows a sight for sore eyes.

Small Copper
Small Copper

 

Red Underwing moth on one of the gate signs
Red Underwing moth on one of the gate signs

Flyover birds seemed to be the main interest left in the avian world, small parties of Linnet and Skylark could be seen or heard as they passed through. The odd duck party would occasionally move in or out of the lakes. And a lone buzzard suffered constant harassment from the resident corvids.

Wigeon in Flight
Wigeon in Flight

 

Rook in Flight
Rook in Flight

 

Young Green Woodpecker
Young Green Woodpecker

Riders of the Wind

My favourite bird of the day was a young Kestrel who hovered over random spots of the nature reserve. The skills of a real aerial master as it hung, it’s head dead still, while the wings battered the air holding position. The birds sharp eyes surveying the ground.

Hovering Kestrel
Hovering Kestrel

 

Swooping Kestrel
Swooping Kestrel

 

Flyby Kestrel
Flyby Kestrel

After nearly falling asleep in the aqueduct hide. A combination of the peace today seemed to hold and having worked a night shift. I decided enough was enough and headed home.

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