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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Sitting on a bench, watching Yellowhammers!

Yesterday I had a call from my friend, Nick Stacey.
'Do you want to go and see the Yellowhammers' he said.
'Um, yes please!!' came my immediate response!
  Yellowhammers are one of those birds I rarely see, especially on the Somerset Levels! I've seen them on the outskirts of the County, on the Quantock Hills and around the farmland of South Somerset, but I can only recall seeing one once or twice on The Somerset levels, despite living here for over a quarter of a century!
   Even more incredible, these birds were on the outskirts of the very village that I lived in!!

Nick picked me up this morning at 10, and we drove for literally 2 minutes to a small holding out in the countryside. There was a stream running alongside, some dotted about hedges and one or 2 trees, plus flat farmland and green fields all around. Luckily it was a lovely sunny Spring morning.
  We met the friendly owner of the small holding and thanked him for his kindness in letting us sit on his land watching the birds.
   There was a bench opposite a hedgerow by the stream. There was a bird table with feeders below the hedge. It was a tiny area, but so quiet! Behind us was a single large conifer.

   No sooner had Nick and I sat on the bench, this beauty had turned up;


Wow! A gorgeous male Yellowhammer!!
A couple of minutes from my home!!
  There were 4 or 5, all male, and they would come and go throughout the time we were there!
  We sat and chatted, unhidden, on the bench opposite the hedgerow. The birds were wary, but as long as we didn't move suddenly they didn't mind our presence too much!
 
In 2 hours, we saw quite an impressive variety of species, whilst not moving once from our bench!
  The list;

Yellowhammer
Reed Bunting
Chaffinch
Goldfinch
Great Tit
Long Tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Robin
Dunnock
House Sparrow
Wren
Chiffchaff
Blackbird
Starling
Carrion Crow
Magpie
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Buzzard
Colllared Dove
Woodpigeon
Stock Dove
Fieldfare
Kingfisher!!

We actually heard the 2 Kingfishers first, then saw them flying up the stream behind the hedgerow.
 Unfortunately I didn't have time to even get a record shot!
 
It was a fantastic morning, and a wonderful little nature haven right on my doorstep!!

Below are some of the pictures I took, every one taken whilst sat in the same spot!















^Above^ - Stars of the show.... the Yellowhammers!





^Above^ - Male Reed Buntings





^Above^ - Female Reed Buntings





^Above^ - House Sparrows



^Above^ - Blue Tits


^Above^ - Female Chaffinch


^Above^ - A shy Great Spotted Woodpecker.


^Above^ - A not so shy Great Spotted Woodpecker!








^Above^ - Great Tits


^Above^ - Male Blackbird.






Above - Dunnock.








^Above^ - Robins



^Above^ - Starlings


^Above^ - Chiffchaff






^Above^ - Collared Doves.







^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits.



^Above^ - Wrens.



^Above^ - Fieldfares..... a couple flying with Starlings in the top picture.


^Above^ - Stock Dove.



^Above^ - Buzzard.


^Above^ - Primroses under the hedge added a dash of colour!