This morning I did the first visit of 2020 to my second Breeding Bird Survey square. Although starting in a sizeable village, as usual, there weren’t many people about, and as usual the caged canaries in a shed in a garden made me pause briefly to think ‘What’s that?’.
I did meet a man with a dog but we did not embrace, we muttered ‘good morning’ in an understated way and went our opposite ways. Well he did, while I watched his dog deposit an enormous pile of faeces on the grass verge as I wrote GR and circled it on my recording sheet to show that I had noticed the wheezing Greenfinch above our heads in the tall conifer.
The start of this walk is dominated by House Sparrows, Starlings, Blackbirds and Collared Doves. As I move into the farmed countryside, and walk along the River Nene, the birds get fewer but more interesting in some ways – certainly more varied.
There was a Common Tern hunting along the river and a Little Egret flew along it – I’ve recorded Little Egret or Great Egret at this site in each of the last four years, but never before.
At the place where the Sedge Warblers often are, there were two singing Sedge Warblers. They were much closer to the footpath than usual – chance or the effect of Stay Home? I was staying alert for birds and was rewarded by the sight of a non-singing, non-calling, Cuckoo – my first here since 2016.
Skylarks, Yellowhammers, Brown Hares and Whitethroats are the best things on the farmland stretch of the survey and then it’s the home run back to the car for more House Sparrows, Starlings, Collared Doves but also 3 Swifts and 5 House Martins.
A good walk, with a purpose, on a lovely morning.[registration_form]