Sunday, 12 October 2014

Upper Wardington: misty morning with tree sparrows

Very misty start to the morning creating some atmospheric views across Top Dawkins. I spent some time touring local farmland sites as part of the national golden plover count - but pretty much drew a blank - just a single calling bird, not seee, near Top Dawkins (Upper Wardington).  On a more positive note, at three places where I stopped to look for "goldies" I was rewarded with a chirping of tree sparrows from the hedgerows.  My impression is that tree sparrows have got scarcer in our area just recently, so it was reassuring to see they are still doing OK at some local sites.  The largest flock was about 30 near Moreton Pinkney. 
misty morning Top Dawkins
lesser black-backs near Marston St. Lawrence (flock of about 100)
Meadow pipits were also very noticeable, as were skylarks and yellowhammers.  A flock of about 70 lapwings drifted across the landscape.  We are still awaiting the arrival of the Scandinavian thrushes - redwings and fieldfares.
buzzard photographed through the front windscreen hence distortion!

At the end of the day I decided to have another look at the Grimsbury Reservoir gull roost.  This time it was dominated by black-headed gulls - about 500, with a few lesser black-backs and a single common gull.  One of the black-headed gulls was a partial albino - with very white wings - but definitely not a Mediterranean gull.
partial albino black-headed gull, above/left of centre - note white wings tips

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