Sunday 17 April 2022

Stockbridge Down, Hampshire

Saturday 16 April

At last a chance to join the Hampshire Ornithological Society on one of their organised birding walks. Up and away by 6.30 for the 7.30 start but by the time I had corrected the incorrect B-class road and actually found the isolated car park the birds, as they say, had flown.  What to do?  Beautiful day, on my own and not a dog walker in sight so set off on my own on an upward track to what looked liked the summit.  Lots of birds calling and quickly identified Robins, Blue and Great Tits plus sightings of all and Carrion Crows, Magpies and Blackbirds.  I had already come across a Red-legged Partridge at the road side as I approached my destination and after the initial Wood Pigeon sightings it was good to see a pair of Jays pass across the bushes in front of me.

Midway up I stopped in the cover of some trees as a quartet of Yellowhammers landed on the exposed grass in front of me to commence feeding and was able to get some distant shots.

Male Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella

Listening and seeing some of the many Chiffchaffs I eventually turned to make my way back down the hill to the car park.  A Robin or three watched my progress and then on a very open space a small flock of feeding Rooks.  

Rook Corvus frugilegus

Off to the right a hovering Kestrel and finally back at the car park - but the wrong one! I had started at the eastern car park and now found myself at the western car park, so a pleasant walk across the lower slopes to complete a triangle back to the car and decide what to do next. However, it had been a lovely walk in excellent weather and most enjoyable even if only 13 species were recorded.  But, as it was still only just after 9 o'clock I decided to  make the relatively short drive over to Fishlake Meadows, Romsey to complete my morning.

Birds seen:

Red-legged Partridge, Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Yellowhammer.

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