18th May 2010
The next day found me out again this time at Aveton Gifford on the other piece of ground where I have released game. However I have found it more and more difficult to manage time wise and its with a heavy heart that I have to cut down on the amount I do out there. I have always struggled with the fact I cannot do all that is needed to help the Grey partridge I released there. I will continue hopefully, with the land owners help to maintain the feeding in as best way as possible with my time. I headed to the large barns first to get grain for the remaining feeders. Once I filled all the sacks I headed to the valley field as I call it. I had seen a few weeks back a pair of Grey’s around the old release pen. I hoped they were still there and maybe have Young or be on Eggs. I took with me a caller that I have got to see if this would aid me in locating them. I scanned the fields and hedge bottoms but drew a blank. I continued on with removing the old pen and filling the feeders left in place. I tried the caller and sure enough got a reply. They soon appeared in the next grassy field but took off as soon as they saw me. I finished what I was doing letting the caller sound every half hour. I drove off down towards the bottom gate but hugged the edge of the old cover strip. I found them again towards the bottom and managed to get these shots. I hope in the next little while they do manage to rear some young and the extra feed I’ve left may help in some way. We will see? I then headed off to Southdown to remove some of the other pens I have out or half dismantled. I stowed the pen sections in a corner of one of Collins Barns hanging them off the side so as to prevent damp rotting them from the ground up. House sparrows squabbled and chattered busying themselves gathering nesting material or insects for fledglings. A white throat made climbing display flights from the nearby hedge line. Vanessa, Collin’s wife came over and tipped me off to the Sedge warbler that was singing from near a footpath behind the barns. I could hear him but never actually got a sighting of the little devil. Swallows and martins coursed overhead hawking insects. I headed out towards Decca field to remove the sections left out there. I stopped to photograph a splendid cock pheasant with a hen bird in tow. Linnets were in amongst the Wheat growing feeding on the odd stalk of Oil seed Rape that had bolted through. On the Old Wild bird mix section that joins Decca I found a Pair of Skylarks foraging but the male was franticly running after the female, Posturing and singing his heart out I was unaware that this was part of their behaviour. I always assumed that the courtship singing was solely from an aerial position. You learn something every day in the field! I next headed over the other side of the Farm to look for Partridge. Colin had told me where they may be. I used the caller again to see if there was any response but alas I did not hear any. Hopefully they will be not too far away fingers crossed.