|One of the two Stock Doves yesterday morning|
Later I packed myself off to Far Pasture to see if anything new was in yet, but my first concern was when I discovered not one but two dead badgers in the field opposite the wood yard. That's four in three weeks, just wtf is going on here?
I was all set to report these as suspicious deaths but got into conversation with a bloke in the hide who told me they are roadkills being put in the field by some photographers trying to entice the red kites down to get better photos (?). Mystery solved, and no suspicious circumstances, but not sure about the ethics on this as it's quite near a well known nest site.
Three Blackcaps (2m 1f) were flitting about a tree along the path and though distant I did get a clear shot of one.
|Blackcap - clear of twigs for once|
Still need to get a bit closer though
|I was practically standing over this |
strikingly marked little Coal Tit
|Female Chaffinch - there aren't many birds |
I would describe as drab but . . .
|"Drab? . . . you're no oil painting yourself mate!"|
Star of the show though was the Bank Vole, tiny and cute, seems a shame they make up the staple diet of so many predators.
|What a cutie|
The common warblers were in full song along the road, though the blackcaps still wouldn't show, but I stopped in my tracks when I realised a GS Woodpecker was on the trunk of one of the dead 'kestrel' trees.
|Great Spotted Woodpecker|
Against a nice blue sky as well
|couldn't believe my luck, stayed perfectly still |
as I approached.
|Eventually hopped over to another branch|
where the red patch told me it was a male
|Last snap just before he flew off|
|Then a Red Kite appeared between the trees|
Back up to the Derwent Walk and another go for the Blackcaps there. I only came across one today but he gave me the usual runaround despite showing well and often. So I took a photo of Gibside Hall across the valley instead.
|Gibside Hall on the east side of the valley|
A picturesque setting for this local landmark