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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

More than a splash of yellow , 17th May 2010

A Day out in the field yesterday was a very welcome break from the studio. I had to do some tidying chores out at Southdown farm. It was a glorious day with high temperatures with a nice SW wind that took the edge off of the heat.There was a profusion of yellow everywhere with the oil seed rape in full flower in many fields. It’s been a while since I had time to check out things on the farm so I got a quick heads up from Colin. He admitted himself that he has not had the time he would have liked to check what’s been coming in. Luckily for us there are a number of other birders that regularly check the farm for rarities and more regular visitors to the farm. Collins main comment was how few Migrants that we usually see are missing. The Dartford Warblers that are usually around in healthy numbers are way down. The others on the low side are willow warblers , House Martins , White throats. It’s not all doom and gloom though as a Hoopoe was seen recently , lots of Kites including a Black Kite. Swallows are here and so are the Swifts that are screaming through the local village. I asked him if he had seen much evidence of Partridge numbers and he said he had heard them at various points on the farm and had seen a nesting pair on the corner of Mushroom Field. On my way round the farm I came across a few white throats a good number of Yellowhammers and some Cirl Buntings . Skylarks were in full song all over the farm. Stock doves , Rooks and also a host of Finches were making good use of the recently ploughed Soar Mill field. The Local Peregrines have managed to fledge at least one young, a tiercel I think, this is very early . They have moved the nest a little up the coast towards Bolberry . I hope to see them soon on the wing around the farm. Curiously the only raptor seen was a solitary Buzzard riding the updrafts coming off of the coast. I was hoping for a peregrine or even a Hobby. The Kestrels were even missing. One very, very opulent bird in full glory at this time of year was the humble Cock Pheasant. Lots of them around the farm and they really are doing well here ,showing all their summer splendour.

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