Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Driving along the tracks of the farm, I watched as a kestrel worked one of the old hedgerows of the farm and its ample grassed margin running out to the track. I stopped the truck and sketched her as she worked towards the vehicle. Swallows whizzed by on flashing purple wings. She was harassed by two Magpies like two troublesome boys picking on the local swat on her way home from school. She ignored their machinegun clatter and peeled back over to resume her work. I drove on towards an area of wild bird mix planted this year by Colin the farmer .It will give cover and food through the harder months that will follow. Skylarks sang around me and I stopped to draw them and the Charms of Goldfinches foraging amongst the thistles at the edge of the crop. The Field known as Decca had been in Oilseed rape this year and now had been cut ,the tall stalks giving perches to the flocks of linnets wheeling then dropping down to feed in amongst its stalks. The flocks did seem restless and soon the reason revealed herself in spectacular fashion. A female Hobby came dashing in from nowhere scattering the feeding Goldfinches which bailed into the cover nearby whilst others scattered like rice being thrown at a wedding. She missed in her attempt and just carried on as if she were just playing tag. What a wonderful bird one of our most spectacular migrants that always brings a bit of excitement to a day in the field.