Tuesday 25 April 2023

Acres Down, New Forest

Coal Tit Parus ater

Tuesday 25 April

A very early start and arriving in the car park at Acres Down near Minstead in the New Forest there was a bright sun in a clear blue sky but, as well as being very calm, it was bloomin' cold with the temperature struggling to reach 2C and only around 7C when I eft nearly three hours later.  Lots of walking but very few birds to be seen albeit lots of calling and singing.  Upon arrival no shortage of either Blackbird or Robin and a few Wrens, Blue Tits and many more Chaffinches.  The occasional Woodpigeon movement and then the yaffle followed by the bird crossing the track low down as the Green Woodpecker disappeared to my right.

Continuing on down to the two trees favoured by the resident Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers I spent much time observing the local area but no sight o sound of the target bird for the morning, and the whole reason for arriving so early.  I did return to the same area twice more during my circular walk with a couple of diversions but nothing found.  However, whilst in the are I di find a resting Stock Dove and then the first of at least  half-dozen Song Thrushes, the latter, along with the Blackbirds, busy collect worms, etc to feed a hungry brood.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

Making my way along a grassy, and very muddy, glade through the trees I came across my first of two Mistle Thrushes and then, stopping in an opening, saw a Sky Lark and heard two Cuckoos, one to my right and the other to my left.

What look like a recently fledged Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus

Towards the end of my walk I eventually found the local Chiffchaffs along with a Great Tit and a few Blackcaps.  A Coal Tit was busy feeding in the small trees in front of me and continued as I struggled to get my camera out in time and try and get a clear view of the bird.  Back at the car and everything stored, including my camera but not the bins, I decided to climb the 100m track up a steep incline to see what could be seen from the top. Lovely view over distant trees but probably not the summit at the end of this track from where, potentially, Goshawks and Honey Buzzards can be seen low over the trees.  On the other hand, I suddenly had a pair of Marsh Tits feeding on the buds of the trees in front of me.  Both well exposed and lovely to see these delightful little tits feeding naturally rather than feeding on a hanging feeder.  But the camera was in the car!!

The friendly Coal Tit Parus ater

Birds seen:

Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Sky Lark, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch.

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