Sunday, 27 May 2012

Convenience Food

I spent Friday at a new site over the border into North Yorkshire not sure what to expect other than a super day in the sunshine. The site comprises both woodland, with a well fed stream, and open fields up and away from the valley.

Much of what I saw in the woods was seen only fleetingly as the foliage is now becoming quite dense with the continuing fine warm weather. All the regular woodland species were seen or heard, including my third different pair of Marsh Tits in the space of a week. I use to think them quite uncommon, but now I am beginning to change my mind. I also came across yet another very obliging Treecreeper!! Visitors included Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, and Chiffchaff.

Listening to a male Chiffchaff calling from the top of a tree, I was suddenly aware of a response coming from somewhere in a group of coppiced willows close to my position. The bird call was not familiar, and the bird didn’t show itself at all in the twenty minutes or so that I observed. My guess is that this may have been a female letting the male know that all was alright, but if you know differently then please leave a comment.

Up away from the wood where the trees thin and open farmland begins, I came across a terrific Tree Pipit singing from individual hawthorns before taking to the air and parachuting back with typically both feet dangling. All that flying and singing take energy. But why expend more energy catching food when it comes close enough not to have to move. So it was for this bird when a swarm of St Mark’ flies came wandering past. The Tree Pipit simply helped itself.

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