Monday, 2 April 2012

A heath but no hawks

Buoyed by the spring and by my success yesterday with goshawks, early this morning I went a little way west to another regular goshawk site. No sooner had I arrived than a little flock of crossbills kip-kipped across the clearing, followed by a buzzing redpoll. Thus began a strange spell of recombinant finch flocks. A little later a flock of crossbills flew past again, kip-kipping noisily, and with them was one wheezing brambling. By my good fortune the kip-kippers went one way and the wheezer went another, so I felt justified in putting brambling on my list even though I had seen nothing but silhouettes. I needn’t have worried though as shortly afterwards a flock flew past at eye level. All those at the front were crossbills and all those at the back were bramblings. There were more redpolls, following crossbills, and then the siskins were at it too. It seemed this morning that all the finches knew the crossbills were the ones to follow.

A mistle thrush sang his loud, ethereal song and coal tits itsy-witsied from every pine. In the valley a green woodpecker laughed his manic laugh and curlews purred and burbled. A pair of sparrowhawks sprang from the pines but of goshawks there was nothing. I’m sure they were there, as every now and then all the jackdaws and the woodpigeons would scarper in unison, but I never saw them. The morning was the more exciting for it.

As I reached the road I heard the lilting loveliness of a woodlark over the heath. I can’t resist woodlarks, however many emails I have pending, so I walked back through the woods and, in the same spot as my first of these birds last year, were two trembling males filling the morning sky with sorrow and with song.

At home there are newly-hatched ducklings on the pond. On their twin power-line posts the predatory lesser black-backs lurk in wait. Cue Jaws music.

New today


common crossbill
Loxia curvirostra
Fringilla montifringilla
Lullula arborea

2012 Totals
Mammals: 54
Birds: 437
Reptiles: 12
Amphibians: 3
Fish: 2

No comments:

Post a Comment