Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Ground Force are faster!

There are piles of earth where the lawn used to be; a trip to the garage requires wellingtons and Andy wants to know why the garden make-over isn't finished yet!  "Ground Force did this while some woman nipped out to the shops!" he quipped.  True, but they knew what they were doing!  Progress is slow but I am having fun ...  the new path is almost complete, some plants have been placed ... the more I do the more ideas I have for the next bit.  I thought it would take me a week to complete but the project keeps growing.

Spending time away from the garden tends to slow things down too!  Yesterday we went to Norfolk.  We went to Stanton Downham (Dad's Army terrain) hoping to see Brambling feeding on the Beech mast.  Unfortunately the birds had flown.  It was very quiet so we moved on. 

At Olly's Farm in Thetford Forest we found 30+ Brambling, not on the ground where we expected to see them, but feasting at the top of the pine trees.  Lovely sight.  They were originally called Bramble Finches.  They are very similar in appearance to Chaffinches (which were originally called Chaff Finches) but Brambling don't breed here so they will be gone in the next few weeks. According to Wikipedia they can form flocks of up to a million birds in some parts of Europe ... that would be a sight to see!

We found a sunny spot and scanned the sky for Goshawks.  We saw plenty of Crossbills, Siskins, Redpolls and Yellowhammers before spotting a dot on the horizon .... a female Goshawk gliding our way.  Unfortunately she was a long way off and she didn't come close enough for great views but it was still good to see her.

We had five Buzzards, a Green Woodpecker and we heard Woodlark whilst we were there.  On the way back to the car we came across a white Roe Deer (tried for a photo but got a blur as it ran away) and a Muntjack (got a terrible photo of it through tall grass!).  A lovely day.

From the garden today we could hear a Skylark singing so Andy went to find it as it is a 'first for the year' for the garden.  It only took him a couple of minutes and he added a Pied Wagtail too.  Makes you wonder what you're missing when you're not watching!

Later on I saw a solitary Starling (another garden tick for the year).  I remember eighteen years ago I was amused by watching a neighbour running around each evening scaring a flock of Starlings away from his hedge.  There were so many of them they caused holes if they roosted there.  A very sad decline in numbers.

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