Friday, 2 March 2012

Vibrancy on an overcast day

I had hoped that today was going to be a repeat of yesterday’s lovely spring day, but it was colder and mistier. Nevertheless, and in the expectation that the day would improve, I drove south to see if I could get some better views of Red Kites. Unfortunately by the time I arrived at the venue, most of the Kites had dispersed across the countryside on the lookout for food. There were a couple, but they seemed happy to stay close to their roost.

Red Kite
A pair of Buzzards gave some distant views as they soared on what thermals they could find, calling to each other as they rose in the air.  Whether this calling is a prelude to pairing up or just regular Buzzard-talk I’m not sure, but the sound was so evocative of the wild as it echoed around the dale and the surrounding woodland.

Common Buzzard
Another strong voice could be heard from the top of a tall beech tree a few hundred yards away. A male Song Thrush gave it his all, proclaiming his territory and advertising for a mate. He was by far the loudest in the dale, even above the persistence of the local Great Tits and Jackdaws. Only the local tractor managed to drown him out.

Further along the road where it drops downhill, there were a pair of Green Woodpeckers, both female given the black patch under the eyes. One watched from the safety of a fence post while the other probed the anthills and grass tussocks for a snack. Given that only one bird entered the field, I would hazard a guess that there is a territorial issue at play. When the feeding bird left the field, the other made a beeline for it, followed by a mid-air scrap before escaping to the woods. The Green Woodpecker has always been one of my favourites; a terrific red cap, green back, and yellow tail, it really is a sight to behold. The only down side is its call which always makes me think it is laughing at me. Never mind, they are always a very welcome sight.

Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker (male)

Grren Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

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