In contrast to a walk in bright sunshine along the Shaftesbury Drove and Ansty Down last Saturday (23 Jan) when I saw very few birds, today’s walk (27 Jan) along the concrete road above Chilmark in damp overcast conditions was much more productive.
The stubble fields either side of the track seem to be providing food for good numbers of birds: some in flocks, others in small groups or singletons. Some species, like the finches, buntings and starlings were moving between the hedgerows and the fields. In contrast the skylarks kept to the fields, moving around in loose flocks, occasionally circling high in the sky before settling again. Thrush species kept mostly to the hedgerows, the redwings and fieldfares sometimes more audible than visible, although there were blackbirds and song thrushes as well. (Click once on a photo to enlarge and read the caption.)
Good numbers of corn buntings were very evident, their jangling keys song being clearly heard (here's a video I took in sunnier days, at Win Green - or just try Googling. Ed). Some were using the sapling Walnuts along the track as song posts. These rather dull looking birds far outnumbered the brighter Yellowhammers the males of which look very striking as they come into their spring plumage.
Photo: Avocets (Izzy Fry)
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