MORNING WALK INTO YEO VALLEY
WEATHER: Bright and sunny, some high cloud, still cold but less wind.
It was a much better day today, a lot calmer and a delight to be out. As I hadn't been to the Nuthatch nest site for a couple of days I went straight there this morning and saw that the Nuthatches were finishing the adjustment to the size of the hole, soon it will be complete and they can get on with nest building and egg-laying. Whilst I was there I saw a Fox running away from me on the other side of the stream, my first one this year at this site.
Finishing off the adjustments
I managed to creep up to the Mandarin Ducks today, I got good views of both of them before they suspected I was about and swam off downstream. Later on I did see a second pair on the river Yeo but I can't be certain that it wasn't the same two birds. There was no sign of the Fieldfare as expected but the number of Partridges seems to have increased as I bumped into at least three pairs on my rounds.
The male Mandarin, you can just about make out the female to the left
A Kingfisher sighting on the stream was a surprise, I noticed one or two good banks for them to nest in, lets hope they do. I have changed my mind about the state of the stream, most days I walk in the morning and the sunlight always makes the water look murky and perhaps polluted, but yesterday when I walked there in the afternoon the sunlight was in the west and the water looked so much cleaner, perhaps it was a trick of the light afterall!
The Badger's footbridge - there is a huge Badger set on the far bank of the stream and I am sure they use this log as a bridge every night because I can see worn tracks leading from it. When the weather gets a little warmer Dawn and I will sit here one evening and watch them - I haven't told her yet!
Four Chiffchaffs sang out, a single Blackcap too, I heard four Great-spotted Woodpeckers drumming and a single Green Woodpecker called. There was no sign of yesterday's Heron or Cormorant but I did get an 'isolation-tick' with a sighting of my first Sparrowhawk. I can't believe it hs taken 17 days to see one!
I took very few pictures again and my wait for a Kingfisher on the River Yeo went unrewarded. I watched the Carder Bumble Bees visiting the Deadnettles before I climbed the hill and set off for home. From the top of the hill I could see that the farmer was ploughing two of the fields where he had been muck-spreading for a number of days. After being back home for a while a looked out over the meadow and could see at least 80 gulls on or around the ploughed fields! I scanned with my bins but only found Lesser Black-backed and herring Gulls, I thoguht there might have been a Black-headed or a Common Gull.
The activity around my feeder has reduced, I get a few Blue Tits and Great Tits, I haven't seen the Coal Tit for a few days but the pair of Nuthatches are still regular afternoon visitors. Even the Great Spotted Woodpecker has other things on his mind.