Doorstep Discoveries

Today I thought I’d focus on wildlife which is right on my doorstep. Almost everything I talk about in this post was seen within about a mile of my house. I am lucky that although I live in a suburban estate there’s only a very short distance between me and the local farmland and fishing lake.

On a small area of said farmland I have found a kestrel. I’ve seen what I assume is the same individual, a male, on three separate occasions. It seems to hunt on the fields and sits on the trees and telephone poles surveying its land.

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It’s proved a tricky bird to photograph as it perches a long way from the path and is so quick in the air. I did get close to it once when it perched on the roof of a house but frustratingly it was facing the wrong way!

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Another bird of prey I’ve also seen lately is this buzzard.

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Initially I wondered if it might actually be a honey buzzard given how pale it’s breast is. It’s very late in the year to see a honey buzzard though and it seems that buzzard colouring varies dramatically and can actually be really pale.

The local farmland is over-run with corvids at the moment. There are groups of noisy magpies and loads of rooks, jackdaws and crows. The crows often gather in huge numbers and swarm when something disturbs them.

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I’ve noticed a few migrating birds finding the local fishing lake lately. It’s not a great lake for wildlife really and is obviously managed for fish rather than wildlife. I imagine having lots of pike is not good if you’re a bird trying to breed. You can usually see mallardscanada geeseblack-headed gulls and in the summer great crested grebe. I spotted a tufted duck on the lake last week which was unusual and on occasion there’s been the odd cormorant roosting on the shoreside trees.

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Here’s a few photos of some more common birds I’ve seen in the area.

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Mute Swans
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Black-Headed Gull
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Robin
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Blackbird- he’s been gorging on berries so much his beak is dark

I’ve continued to see the group of roe deer by the Avon. The stag was still around today, though with only one doe but they were a fair way from the path. Much closer to the path but on the other side to it and the river were four does. They took a good look at me and decided I was bad news so ran off into the long grass.

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Finally, this is one of the many local rabbits. It’s possible it has myxomatosis as it’s eye looks sore. Either that or he’s just sleepy.

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