Monday 6 April 2020

Monday 6 April

Another excellent report from my Anonymous Birder friend and he must surely be showing the way, at least in the UK, on how to continue your biding life whilst, at the same time, maintaining an almost self-isolation in terms of free space.  
Sunday Body Tuning: Sunday 5 April

Great Tit Parus major (PHOTO: Bob Wright)
Elite athletes ceaselessly hone every sinew of their bodies, including on the day of rest, so with the sun shining and the temperature approaching 6C, it's 7:40 and a good time for exercise to be fit for Coronavirus, with the added edge for me to try to continue to be able to out run a neighbour’s 3 year daughter, who seems to delight in seeing the reaction of adults whenever she puts in an appearance.
Destiny the large quarry, via the “safe” route alongside the main road again.  Quickly into cruising speed logging birds as I walk, a Greenfinch is calling from a TV aerial, House Sparrows are in a hedge, an alarmed Blackbird flies between gardens, a Dunnock is singing beyond a wall, a Wood Pigeon flies over, a calling Collard Dove follows me up the road and a Jackdaw (or two) are on house roofs.  BlueGreat and Long-tailed Tit fly between roadside trees, a few Goldfinch are in one of the trees, a Crow flies across, a Wren calls from out of sight, a Chiffchaff chiffs from the wood to the south where a Pheasant is also calling, and from the same wood I hear a call, and then hear the drumming of a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Out of the conurbation with nothing new found except a couple of Canada Geese in a field and I am soon turning off the main road onto the track, checking to see how well I have done, 2km in 20 minutes, at least I am consistent.

I can see someone walking more than a 100 metres ahead of me however they take a different route to that I intend to take.  I can hear twittering from a small tree ahead of me and locate a pair of Linnet ,a species that for whatever reasons I have only seen on a couple of previous occasions this year.  Then on the top of a hedge I see a female Yellowhammer.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella (PHOTO: Bob Wright)
I now cross the first stile hands free and perhaps I have pretty much perfected it and maybe one might say I’m now doing it with some style.  (Do I hear a little voice saying in my ear, “Pride comes before a fall.”)

Approaching the quarry I can hear Chiffchaff both calling and singing.  One looks very awkward stood on the top of wooden electricity pole.  The water at the quarry isn’t exactly teeming with birds holding three Great Crested Grebe, a Little Grebe, 2 Black-headed Gull, 3 Cormorant, 2 Coot, 6 Tufted Duck, single male Teal and Gadwall plus 4 Greylag Geese.

Gadwall Anus strepera (PHOTO: Bob Wright)
Over the scrubby field on the other side of the track a Skylark was singing.  I am not good at viewing dark birds against a blue sky, however I was able to locate another sat in the field and at the back of the field were 2 Lapwing.  I could hear a Song Thrush calling from the far end of the track and when I went to see it, it was in the same place as it had been two days ago. (Hopefully, it had not been there all of the time.)

About turn and home, however on the way I hear an out of sight Jay.  Whilst still on the track a medium size bird almost flies over my head then flies along the rack ahead of me before disappearing.  I carefully walk forward and I can see it but the sun is in my eyes and it has its back to me.  I wait and eventually it moves off before it disappears through the hedge.  A Grey Partridge, a female, and my bird of the day.

Grey Partridge Perdix perdix (PHOTO: Bob Wright)
Little more than 10 minutes from home I come across a runner coming towards me, not much of an athlete as it too much effort for him to cross to the other side of the road despite him being about half my age, so I cross over.

In the small wood on the outskirts of the conurbation I hear two Blackcap singing and a third heard in the wood in the conurbation.  These quite clearly are newly arrived migrants.  In the conurbation two more runners for me to avoid and these are both about a third pf my age.  So home again and only that 3 year old to watch out for.

Species logged:
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Grey partridge, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Coot, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Jay, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Yellowhammer .

A most stylish report - or should that be stilish?  When I think back to when I was the age of those younger runners then Grey partridge was quite a common species to be seen out in the countryside.  What a difference fifty years make!  It would certainly have also been my bird of the day.

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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