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WEATHER: dull and overcast with light rain. Temp 12C

It has been quite a while since I walked the entire circuit around my local patch in the Yeo Valley so I thought I would give it a bash today. It was late when I left the flat, 9:30am to be precise, I was up late.

a group of Red-legged Partrdiges - released for sport!!

A Jay flew across the car park as I made my way round to Station Lane, just recently I have seen them several times around our home collecting acorns, which are aplenty this year, but I can’t see where they are taking them to bury. As I walked through the gate and onto the track that leads into the valley a small flock of Fieldfares (6) flew over making their ‘rattling - chattering’ call and whilst I was looking at them I noticed 4 Redwings flying much higher in the same southerly direction.

there is a female Pheasant here, walking across the stream on a fallen log - they love to do that rather than flying across

Sighting from then on were few and far between, apart from dozens of ‘released’ Pheasants and Red-legged Partridges, I heard a Common Buzzard that was calling from beyond the meadow, I saw a Grey Heron that flew up from the stream and the usual, ever-present ‘clatterings’ of Jackdaws could be heard constantly.

Red-legged Patridges - can you see all 11 of them?

As I walked across the second meadow towards the confluence of the Stream and the River Yeo a flock of Siskins flew over me and landed way back in the line of Alders along the stream, I scoped them and counted seven birds. I never saw much else until I stood on the slope of Rook’s Hill, from my position and height I was at eye levels with most of the trees that lined the banks of the River Yeo.

Siskins - there are two in this picture can you seen them both?

The large dead tree held the usual small number of Goldfinches, this time however a few Chaffinches joined them. I then heard a Green Woodpecker and scanned down below and behind the dead tree to see a male sitting on a fence post. Behind the woodpecker a male Pheasant was standing right up against the wire mesh of the fence, on the other side stood a female, Ha! I don’t think the male realised that he could fly over the fence, sometimes Pheasants are a bit stupid. Two other males appeared on the same side as the female and this agitated the first male but he still done nothing about it.

a male Green Woodpecker sitting on the fence

A Blue Tit, then a Robin and finally three Dunnocks landed on the fence and the Woodpecker made a few sorties down into the grass, I was then distracted by another flock of Siskins. This time they were closer and at eye-level, so I fired a few shots off using my phone and the telescope.

the Pheasant and the fence

you can just make out the fence in this picture where all the activity took place

It started to rain at that point, so I decided to leave, I walked up and over the top of Rook’s Hill, a few herring Gulls flew over, a |Raven called behind me but I did not see it.

the two fields which featured a lot in my early spring blogs, they were ploughed and seeded in April, harvested in August. You can just see a strip of maize on the top of the right hand filed which is yet to be cut.

As I crossed the top of the hill I found a few parasol mushrooms, some of them were still in good shape so I picked them, guess what we had for lunch, yum, yum!!