SHERBORNE FIELDS - BRADFORD ABBAS TO THORNFORD CIRCULAR WALK
WEATHER: clear blue sky to start, very chilly breeze, quite cold all day cloudy after lunchtime
I was on a roll after yesterday's good fortune, so I tried my luck at finding a Corn Bunting in the local area around Sherborne. I left home before 6am!!
I lived in Sherborne for 16 years from 1984 - 2000 and quite often I used to find my favourite Bunting (not!!!) in an area of arable fields just north of the town, so that is where I headed this morning. It took 12 minutes to get to my first stop which was a quiet lane in a small valley on the Sherborne to Sandford Orcas road.
Boy was it cold, a biting wind swept dowen the valley, I never had a coat or gloves. I quickly found several birds, Red-legged Partridge, Common Whtiethroat, Robin, Linnet, Goldfinch and for some reason a plethroa of Dunnocks.
Red-legged Partridge cuddling up to keep warm
I drove on up past Sherborne Golf Course and turned onto the road to Wincanton, I stopped at the 'Red Post' junction, (a Red Post is a sign-post painted red, there are three in Dorset. They are supposed to signify the site of a Gallows from days gone by).
I parked near the red sign and hoped that it wasn't a violation of any local laws with a penalty of 'death by hanging', I then walked a couple of miles taking a triangular route around some very quiet lanes. The air was full of bird song, it sounded quite promising. Lots of Whitethroats, Linnets, Yellowhammers, Wood Pigeons, Stock Doves, Goldfinches and many Skylarks. All the farmland birds were there except for Tree Sparrow, Turtle Dove and Corn Bunting. I remember all three of those species used to breed here.
a male Stock Dove displaying to a female
off she went, not interested
last picture of Stock Dove - but can you identlfy the bird whizzing past in the back-ground?
Not a single Corn Bunting sang out from anywhere, I treid several other lanes and got very cold trying to see this plain, non-descript little grey bird. ever saw one but I really enjoyed looking. I had excellent views of a whole bunch of Yellowhammers, they were very common, also lots of Stock Doves, Red-legged Partridges and Pheasants.
at last I found a Linnet with some red colouring, hooray!!
I gave up around 8:30am and headed home, Dawn was quite taken aback with my early return home. We decided to go for a walk together before lunch.
It was a lot warmer now, but a cold wind still persisted. We parked on the edge of Bradford Abbas and set off on the circluar walk to Thornford, is a 4 mile round trip. Remeber this is where i saw the Red Kite yesterday. Unfortunately there wasn't one present today.
These very large Rabbits - sometimes called Alpacas can be seen at Mill Farm, Bradford Abbas
the track leading into Thornford Village
Looking back towards Thornford after passing through the village
Buttercups and Daisies
these are Oxeye Dasies
It was an enjoyable walk, we crossed the River Yeo twice and walked along its banks for a while. We saw all the usual suspects out in the arable fields, Skylarks, yellowhammers, Linnets, Goldfinches and we saw several Common Whitehtroats in the hedges.