14 October 2007

Leam Valley at its finest

A quite stunning sight when I arrived at Leam Valley today, with the sun still red and low in the sky, and five or six feet of gentle mist hugging the ground.

The beauty of the morning set me on my way in good spirits, and my optimism was soon rewarded with a tree full of Siskins, a lovely yellow-and-green streaky finch which is a regular, but scarce, winter visitor to these parts.

I found things fairly quiet at the scrape, apart from when a dozen or more Black-headed Gulls swooped in for a fight. A female Tufted Duck was the only out-of-the-ordinary bird, so I pressed on to the fields of the Offchurch Bury Estate. Here I found a Skylark in full song, plenty of Jays criss-crossing the whole area, a some particularly bold Yellowhammers, allowing me to get my first ever pictures of this magnificent species, albeit poor.

And to wrap up my morning I encountered three favourite species of thrush. First of all a handful of Fieldfares passed overhead, flying S/SW as you might expect at this time of year. Shortly afterwards they were followed by a magnificent flock of 70+ Redwings. And as I turned for home, two Mistle Thrush flew to the top of a nearby poplar tree and started churring vociferously at the world in general.

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