MORNING WALK INTO YEO VALLEY
WEATHER: another dull morning, but very light breeze and no rain. Much brighter and sunny later.
As I step from the front door two Starlings flew up off my lawn and a Wood Pigeon called from one of the sycamores. A couple of House Martins were visiting their nests up above me and a Robin sang from the hedge. Jackdaws, Blackbirds and a pair of Red-legged Partrdiges were in the meadow. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over me as I crossed the car park.
As I walked along the lane towards the train station I stopped at the road bridge over the stream. A few days ago a Little Egret was under the railway tunnel which is viewed from the road bridge, so I crept up quietly. The Egret wasn't there so I walked across the road and looked downstream, oops! it was directly below me and off it went.
I walked along the stream quite fast not stopping too many times and it just turned 7am when I got to the Kingfisher nest. This time I walked past the nest site and looked back upstream towards the nest. I couldn't actually see the nest hole but I focused on a perch that |I knew the kingfisher prefeered.
Twenty minutes later the Kingfisher flew in and landed................................ on a different perch. He sat looking up at me, he bobbed twice, wagged his tail once and looked me straight in the eye. He dared me to move, but I had to re-postion the scope onto him, I move a millimeter......and you know the rest.
This guy is something else! He was playing with me and he wins everytime. I waited another 40 minutes and he never returned, as I walked away he flew past me over my shoulder and gave a squeak, he really was rubbing it in. Much later I was in my garden with Dawn and he flew past over the meadow, now he knows where I live, what a player.
Two things I leaned today from this encounter are,
1. Kingfishers have a lot more intelligence than I thought and they are smarter than me.
2. I don't think these Kingfishers are feeding young just yet, so I won't be standing there for an hour tomrrow!
The rest of the walk was enjoyable, I heard many species and saw a few. The Cuckoo called from its usual place, Wrens, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Somg Thrushes and Robins all sang from their usual places. I checked the wire fence in the small meadow on the other side of the River Yeo. Yesterday I saw a Blackbird and a Song Thrush sitting on it, today a Robin was doing the same, so I have 3 species on my fence list - boy I must be desparate.
I walked part-way of the hill and then crossed the main meadow back to the stream. I found a pair of Mandarin Ducks, two male Mallards and the Grey Wagtails were taking food back to the delerict building. The Nuthatch nest was deserted once again, I really am getting concerned that they have left.
As I looked up at a Crows nest I saw two COMMON SWIFTS flying north, yippee!!! A new species for my Isolation List. I saw Collared Dove on the way back and later in the afternoon a Swallow quartered the meadow outside our flat.