|dunnock: footpath behind primary school|
After crossing the, presently, dry River Ash we noted mistle thrush and overhead, corvids and a solitary red kite heading north. Great and blue tits in the hedgerow as we wandered towards the primary school, where also, several yellowhammers and a dunnock. Magpies, jackdaws and plenty of rooks from the local rookery, whilst a single goldcrest called and then flew across the lane near a field of alpacas at Stone House Farm. Long tailed tits and a swallow over near the church and robins called as we wandered up the path to Hadham Hall. Nothing on the moat and a few moorhens in the pond near The Stable houses before we took the track to the lagoon. We approached this quietly and managed to view the resident barn owl at its nest hole.
|Very distant barn owl|
An extra bonus here, 2 grey wagtails at the edge of the water as well as a grey heron that flew off upon our arrival. A kestrel was noted on the telegraph wires before we double back to the hall. Here, 3 common buzzards circled with a sparrowhawk noted above them. One of the buzzards drifted overhead as we then took the drive out to the A120 again and along Millfield Lane.
|juvenile common buzzard over Hadham Hall. Note: no black terminal band on tail.|
A single bullfinch was heard as we passed the willows and on to the polo fields. More yellowhammers and another buzzard over the wood, along with green and great spotted woodpeckers. As we approached the field at Brick Kiln Hill a male reed bunting popped up briefly, only noted by those at the front of the party and shortly after, the bird of the day for me, a male stonechat. This was quickly followed by longer views of the female on brambles. Stonechat are not a regular parish bird and have only been recorded in 3 places within the parish. This was a new site.
|Distant stonechat: Brick Kiln Hill|
A check on the ancient oak tree opposite the pub gave views of long tailed tits before we arrived at the pub for much needed refreshment. Probably the warmest October day for a few years. Great company and some successful birding. Not everyday you'll get red kite, barn owl, common buzzard, sparrowhawk, stonechat and grey wagtails on a non reserve wander.
Only small white butterfly was seen and a few common darters and a single migrant hawker dragonfly. Several plants were pointed out, including Butchers' broom. Moths trapped in my light trap were released following viewing: Acleris variegana, lesser yellow underwing, lunar underwing, setaceous hebrew character and common wainscot. Also, several leaf mines were found, including those of the horse chestnut leaf miner :(Camararia ohridella.) All good stuff and generous and kind donations to mine and Wendy's fund for Sri Lankan families. Very many thanks for this, in total £66.00.
grey heron, red kite, common buzzard, sparrowhawk, kestrel, pheasant, moorhen, black headed gull, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, wood pigeon, barn owl, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, skylark, swallow,pied wagtail, grey wagtail, wren, dunnock, robin, stonechat, mistle thrush, blackbird, goldcrest, great tit, blue tit, long tailed tit, magpie, jay (heard) jackdaw, rook, carrion crow, chaffinch, goldfinch, greenfinch, bullfinch (heard) yellowhammer, reed bunting.