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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Redstart and Goldfinches!

On a glorious April morning yesterday I made my way to my job at Moor Lane in Wincanton, Somerset. Leaving the town and driving into the countryside I noticed a bird standing on an abandoned trailer in a field beside the road. I was amazed to see it was a beautiful male Redstart! A bird I'd only ever seen 3 times in my whole life!! I quickly stopped my van, grabbed my camera and walked back to where I'd seen it. At first I was disappointed, it was no longer on the trailer and I couldn't see it anywhere else. I waited for 5 minutes, hoping he would show himself again, and sure enough he did, standing on a fence post on the other side of the field! He was quite distant, but I managed some passable shots with my 70-300mm VR Nikon lens. It's at moments like these that I wish I had a Sigma 50-500mm lens!
   Alas, I couldn't stay, I had work to do! Luckily I was working in the countryside, the sun shone and the birds were singing! Skylarks sang overhead,  tragically an increasingly rare sound in the British countryside. Their song is so calming and free, the world seems to be a better place every time you hear it, and picking out the bird in the vast sky is quite a task, usually just a tiny dot at an incredible height!
   Chiffchaffs sang in the roadside hedges and trees, along with Chaffinches, Blackcaps, Great Tits and Wrens.
  Ravens and Buzzards were overhead, both being mobbed regularly by Crows. At one stage a Crow attacked a Raven (A much bigger bird!) in flight and they tumbled together to the ground! They both flew off afterwards seemingly none the worse!

After work I popped into RSPB Greylake close to my home. The usual birds were attracted to the feeders in the car-park. This remains the best place to see Reed Buntings at close quarters! I was especially pleased to see plenty of Goldfinches. I'd not seen them here before, I think most of Somersets population reside in my garden, costing me a fortune in Sunflower hearts!

Below are some of the pictures of the day, along with a cock Pheasant I came across in Dorchester, Dorset, last week;





^^Above^^  - Male Redstart


^^ Above ^^ - Singing Wren


^^ Above ^^ - Blackcap


^^ Above ^^ - Chiffchaff


^^ Above ^^ - Raven (the middle bird) harrasssed by Carrion Crows


^^ Above ^^ - Raven (underneath) and Crow tumbling to the ground!


















^^ Above ^^ - Goldfinches



^^ Above ^^ - Great Tit





^^ Above ^^ - Male (top 2) and female Chaffinches








^^ Above ^^ - Reed Buntings....the males are the ones with dark heads.


^^ Above ^^ - Robin




^^ Above ^^ - Male Pheasant