Thursday, 23 September 2010

Yesterday I walked home from work in a tee-shirt, today I walked home in a rain coat, thats probably the end of summer now!

As I walked home, I noticed the Maize crop in the 'Pub Field' was being harvested, so that was my destination straight after lunch. As soon as I got there I could see hundreds and hundreds of HOUSE MARTIN feeding on all the insects being thrown up by the harvesting. See Below. Not the clearest of photo's, but it does show quite a few birds, the sky was filled like this in every direction.

I picked my spot along the hedgerow, and watched scores of birds leave the maize and fly to the Hedge each time the harvester passed, when it moved off, they flew back out to the maize again. Most of these birds were CHIFFCHAFFS, but I also noted YELLOWHAMMER, CHAFFINCH, ROBIN, GREAT TIT, BLUE TIT, PHEASANT, DUNNOCK and BLACKBIRD. As I stood and waited for each pass of the harvester, hoping to see a Sedge or Reed Warbler, which I failed to do, I saw all the creatures that lived in the crop running for their lives. Predator and predated had no time for each other, their refuge was getting smaller by the minute, until finally they had to make a run for it, I saw 3 FOXES

scores of Rabbits
The harvester finally took the last of the crop, and all was quiet, the animals dispersed off into the countryside - apart from the Deer, this is the one that has been stuck in the field all Summer!

I gave the House Martins a good scan as they swarmed over the cut field, but didn't find a Sand martin with them, as I did, a KESTREL arrived on the scene, as did half a dozen PIED WAGTAILS and the first of the MEADOW PIPITS.
I turned my attention to the Hedgerow, and walked it 4 times, but all I found were Chiffchaffs, I must have looked at 50 of them, some more than once I dare say, but 50 would be a good approximation of their numbers.
I went into the Tree Nursery to walk the other side of the hedgerow, but couldn't find any other warblers except the Chiffchaffs. I walked the lines of shrubs in the nursery, but apart from the odd Blackbird and Robin, it was just more Chiffchaffs. Maybe there was a Sedge or Reed Warbler out there somewhere, but I couldn't find it, I gave the House Martins another good scan for a sand martin, but failed again, however I did see a SPARROWHAWK chancing his luck, it was severely mobbed by hundreds of Martins :-) and wimped off to the North.
It was certainly the day off the Chiffy today, and I had my fill of them this afternoon. However, come the beginning of March next year, i'll still be eagerly awaiting their return, and straining to hear that song - Chiff....Chaff....Chiff.....Chaff.....Chiff...Chaff :-)


Warren Baker said...

If anyone is wondering where my list of followers has gone, well i had to delete it, as some gay, sausage jocky site put up their porno photo on it.

If anyone knows how to delete just one follower let me know so i can restore the rest !

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Phil,
Deleted the offensive site :-)

ShySongbird said...

Great photos of the departing creatures, Warren but I'm starting to feel sorry for that deer, can it really not get out anywhere?

I somehow missed commenting on yesterday's post but enjoyed it as always :)

Derek Faulkner said...


House Martins seemed to be the major hirundine mover today. Whilst doing a WEBS count on the Swale NNR this afternoon it was all HM's moving through, no Swallows.

Warren Baker said...

I'm sure the Deer can get out if it really wanted to, after all, it got in ok :-)

That maize crop was an ideal home for it ! I'll keep you posted on how it fares.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Incredible what lost their home in a very short time .
Be surprised if the Roe Deer isn't gone before the morning .

Pete Woodruff said...

Amazed at your House Martin and Chiffchaff numbers Warren....but then you're the south of England and we're the north.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Thanks for your advice on my blog. Like the photo of the Deer, and as for the havoc being caused by the harvester, it is a shame that those creatures have now got to move on, but then they are probably use it that.
Good record shot of the House Martins.

Anonymous said...

A well written post Warren.
The stubble thats left might pull in some Buntings/Finches. Hope it does mate.

Kelly said...

...really enjoyed your descriptions in this post, Warren. I could visualize the action of the birds and the commotion as the harvester went by. Must have been a sight to see all the martins flying around.

I had the same guy join me, Warren! What a surprise to see that icon when I woke up and checked the blog! It's easy to block just one user. I'll send you an email. You get to it through the Dashboard...then click on the little Followers the user...then select Block.

Bill Benish said...

Super photos! The transition from summer to fall is so striking. Leaves are just starting to change here in NYC. It will come so quickly in October.