Amberley Wildbrooks

The wind had died down slightly and the sun was shining so I made an unplanned trip to Amberley Wildbrooks this evening. Things appeared very quiet initially, no birds singing just a few noisy crows and faint calls coming from the scrub. Any birds I did detect seemed to not want to be seen and I struggled to add to the trip list for some time. However, along the river and by the swamp I found a few passerine flocks flitting about amongst which were at least 2 Lesser Whitethroats. It seemed equally quiet out on the brooks although I spotted 2 birds leaping out of a small shurb catching flies, but I struggled to tell if they were Wheatears or Whinchats. Walking further along I spotted a Wheatear in a mowed field before I had a delightful encounter with a group of confiding Whinchats close to the path. A flock of Linnets were making it difficult for me to count the birds but there were at least 6 and after watching them feed I concluded that the birds seen on the brooks earlier must have also been Whinchats. Turning to head back I spotted some commotion and a flock of Linnets disperse and a falcon was amongst them, attacking them with some purpose. It made a sharp vertical climb in an attempt to snatch one before rapidly twisting and turning low through the scrub in a chase. Unfortunately I lost sight, but the bird appeared brown in colour to my eyes, which might suggest Merlin, although its a bit early yet.

Whinchats

Lesser Whitethroats


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