Early doors my 'lack of match practise' was apparent as my fieldcraft skills were negligible as a lack of focus and generally not looking before treading resulted in numerous flushes, from yellowhammer to jackdaws, reed bunts to magpies and even a red kite from a pylon (which would have made a cracking photo).
I sorted myself out and started scanning ahead more. At the lower levels more tits and dunnocks than anything else, and the only yellowhammers were one flushed and one overhead.
A lone mature oak was dotted with nestable holes so I stood a while and watched as first a blue tit then a great tit investigated, and then a treecreeper arrived on the scene and disappeared into one of the holes. A bit of a surprise that one.
As I climbed further up the valley, I looked back to see the far side of the valley was still shrouded in mist, but silhouetted were two red kites, two buzzards and a displaying pair of sparrowhawks, though all fairly distant.
|Red Kite in the morning mist|
|Plenty of reed bunts around|
|Plenty of L T tits around as well|
|Target secured, a yellowhammer facing the wrong way|
Linnets sprang up from a partly ploughed field where more yellowhammers fed also, and a few meadow pipits sprang up from the next field into a line of trees where goldfinches and goldcrests were calling.
Sad though, I remember just a few years ago a small part of this field was set aside and had breeding lapwings, now it's all cultivated and I didn't see one even flying overhead.
|The colour contrast I was looking for, but couldn't get close enough|
along the field edges.
|And that's the closest I could get to a mipit as well|
An obliging robin was my next subject, then heading off the road and onto the red kite trail I was greeted by the sound of a singing chiffchaff, first of the year, but only set eyes on him when he flew off.
|Only place in the valley I've had little owl, sadly the owl box|
on the tree disappeared a few years back.
|Comma - first identified butterfly of the year|
|Decent numbers of Tree Sparrows in the area now|
hope they continue to thrive.
Still with a bit of time to spare I decided to walk down to Far Pasture in hope of getting a sand martin, no such luck, all quiet here but another chiffchaff was singing along the access road on the way out. Couldn't be arsed to get my camera out again to snap him, but happy enough with the day's sightings.