Monday 21 March 2011

Sunday 20th March 2011 - Olley's Farm

A few of us from the Mid Nene RSPB group drove over to Olley's Farm today to try and see the Goshawks. A car share had been arranged earlier in the month but as it was set for mid week anyone who works couldn't attend. So it was decided that a few of us would set up our own car share trip to get over there. We wasn't disappointed as after only ten or so minutes we had the first Goshawk rising up in the air over the distant woodland, 2 more came to join it and we were treated to good views as they displayed. Then one of the birds turned and flew straight towards us.......and kept coming and coming until we were all treated to incredibly views as it flew right over our heads. I managed to find it in the scope as it started to fly towards us and kept on it until the scope was almost vertical - you could really appreciate it's size. To add to this Woodlarks were calling all over the place, with one raising up in the sky with it's descending call and singing away up above. Crossbills could be seen on quite a few tree tops with a couple of really nice male birds standing out in the sunshine too. As we had done so well here, we nipped up the road to Lynford Arboretum. All the normal variety of birds were busy calling along with at least 3 Nuthatch. No Hawfinch could be seen unfortunately in the paddock, but as we approached the Folly and couple of birders could be seen approaching looking particularly pleased with themselves. As this normally means they have seen something so I asked them what they's just had, to which they replied a Firecrest is showing very well just around the corner. Now I'd probably ought to mention at this point that Firecrest is my bogey bird, I admit that over the last 5 years or so I've been looking for them I could have driven down south into their breeding grounds and probably had them quite easily - but the point is they shouldn't be that difficult a bird to find up here in the winter so I have just been chasing them up here, to no success at all. In fact its becoming quite an obsession for me to see one so to find out there's one just around the corner my heart leaped at the prospect of finally connecting. We quickly found the tree and sure enough a Firecrest was singing away from about mid way up as we waited patiently for it to show. Then absolute disaster, the tree in question was in someones garden and at this point the man who lived there came out of his house and started it seemed to try and make as much noise as possible. Not only was he banging around he then started to shout for his wife to come and join him. As you can imagine the Firecrest disappeared and despite waiting for about 15 minutes it never made a sound so it must have crept off through the trees and escaped our view. I felt almost sick as we left!! Never mind it was a good day out, and the views of those Goshawk will not be forgotten.

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