Sunday, 14 August 2011

Quail Garden Tick!

A mixed day today started with an 8 km walk around the village (North Duffield) surrounds. It was generally quiet however a mixed tit flock contained a single Marsh Tit and several adult and juvenile Coal, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits. Finches were fairly vocal with several Linnet, Greenfinch and Goldfinch around. A flock of 86+ Lapwing was the first local flock I've seen of the autumn. The same ploughed field also held 25+ Pied Wagtail. There appeared to be a more-or-less constant stream of Yellow Wagtail, with the occasional Meadow Pipit heading south. Swallow appeared to be migrating south in decent numbers, with a sprinkling of Swift in with them too. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard calling, as was Jay. There was no sign of any Corn Bunting today but several Yellowhammer were still fairly vocal. Raptors were represented by 3 or 4 Buzzard, a juvenile male Sparrowhawk drinking from a puddle and a family group of Kestrel.

The biggest treat of the day came in the form of a Quail garden tick. I was gardening at the time when a burst of song got my immediate attention. A nice surprise and my 81st garden tick! I'd spent all day keeping my eyes open for any interesting raptors going over to no avail.

The not-so-good part of the day came when I found the following: a dead juvenile female Green Woodpecker - a road kill victim. I think it's a female due to the black moustache.

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