Saturday, 30 April 2016

Upper Wardington: Yellow Wagtails and more

male Yellow Wagtail
I was fortunate this morning to capture some nice shots of a male Yellow Wagtail beside the road near Wardington.  This is a favoured locality for them, normally one or two pairs but sometimes none at all. They usually nest in fields of winter wheat or field beans, commuting to better feeding areas including the local sheep grazed pastures.  
This male is busy establishing his territory, singing from the fenceline.
A female was perched on the same fence a little further on.  There is also another male around.  I have seen them in a few localities over the past few days whilst birding in the local area, which is pleasing as they seemed very scarce last year. 

With the arrival of so many of our summer migrants in the last week or two it was a real surprise to see a flock of 22 Fieldfare lingering in one of their favoured pasture fields yesterday (Friday).  I wonder if these late departing birds are headed for the more northerly part of their range in Scandinavia.
Fieldfares on 29 April
An adult Curlew Sandpiper has recently graced Balscote Quarry nature reserve and a nearby pool on Ironstone Lane - showing particularly well today in the afternoon sunshine today, but too far off to get reasonable photos.  Watching through the telescope, this bird's plumage details were very fine: brick red face and breast, grey crown and spangled wing coverts.  This really is a rare occurrence - only the second spring record in the Banbury area - the other was also at Balscote in May 1993.
Adult Curlew Sandpiper - record shots

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