Waltham Brooks and Hail's View

After a change of plan this morning I ended up at Waltham Brooks for an overdue visit, having not visited since Christmas day. Visibility improved as the light mist lifted. On the water amongst the Wigeon, Teal and Mallards were a dozen Shoveler a few Gadwall. A Barn Owl was quartering near the railway line, and up on a river a Merlin was spotted perched up on a fence post over Amberley Wildbrooks. A Snipe was heard hear too. Highlight of the trip, however, was a brief song from a Chiffchaff. A pleasure to hear this time of year. Amongst the other records were 160 Starling, a small flock of Redwing, a screeching Water Rail, a couple or Lapwing, and 3 Pintail on Widney Brooks. 

Amberley Wildbrooks viewed from Waltham Brooks



After an emotionally difficult afternoon attending a funeral for my uncle Robert I needed some time out in nature, so I popped along to Hail's View for the last few hours of light. As I was walking along the edge of the woodland that skirts the shooting field I heard Lesser Redpoll calls, and then four landed in a birch tree directly above my head. Fantastic! Out on the brooks, Lapwing appeared to be the most abundant species, with flocks dotted about all over the reserve. Amongst a distant flock that was being closely overlooked by the pale Buzzard, I made out a Ruff, and then another two Ruff appeared a little while later. There was a smaller wader present too, and presumimg it was nothing rarer, it was a Dunlin. As my hopes of seeing the male Hen Harrier again faded along with the light, a single Siskin came calling over my head. 

Lesser Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll



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