A Dull Day on the Patch
The first of those opportunities presented itself in the shape of two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, an adult and its offspring, the pair of birds chased each other around the old lock area, the youngster begging for food from its parent, the adult, trying to teach the little one how to forage, randomly tapping away at some of the dead and decaying wood.
A couple of times the birds appeared quite close to me, which on a sunnier day would have presented me with some awesome photos (I hope), today however, with the silver grey skies hiding the sun I managed to take two that are sharp enough to offer up here.
|Great Spotted Woodpecker pecking away|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker perched (no crop)|
The area of the old lock also seemed alive with warblers, a couple of young Blackcap, their russet caps giving away their young age, and plenty of Chiffchaff, calling and feeding in the bushy elders. Later on in the day a Tit flock, found behind the Viaduct hide on the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve held no fewer than 6 Chiffchaff.
Overhead a very dark Common Buzzard attempted to soar, but came under constant harassment from the local corvids as Carrion Crows and Magpies mobbed it as it flew. On my return walk the Buzzard again tried to spend some time aloft, but quickly came under the same dive bombing from crows.
|Common Buzzard on the Turn|
|Dark Common Buzzard soaring|
While walking between hides (from the Farm hide on the main pits to the Viaduct hide) I spotted a small grey wader pecking on the far banks, after many attempts to make it something much rarer I settled on a Dunlin, nice to see and quite late on passage.
While I watched the small wader above in the still grey skies a Eurasian Kestrel, the same one I have seen on numerous walks recently, hovered regularly, riding the wind, head stationary, while the wings beat feverishly and the tail tracks this way and that, holding position while it used its terrific eyesight to scan the scrub below.
|Eurasian Kestrel in Flight|
The grim, cloud filled, skies refused to clear as I walked, and little else presented itself either to photograph or excite the senses and so I headed home after another dull day.
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