The first really spring like day of the year. Glorious sunshine, very little wind and a nice warm air temperature. When I got to the monument I could hear Phil working away with the strimmer, at the bottom of the hill towards Hope Point. This habitat improvement has had a dramatic affect by allowing many of the lest robust chalk loving plants the chance to get through the grass and by stopping the Blackthorn spreading to become impenetrable scrub as at much of Hope point.
When I got there I caught up with the birds that Phil had seen, nothing so far of note, but Phil then, looking over my shoulder, lifted his binoculars and declared that a Red Kite was heading towards the golf course and Kingsdown.
It carried on in that direction and gave no opportunities for close ups! The golfer carried on, unaware that there was a birdie overhead, although not an eagle. This is a good time of year for Red Kites at Bockhill, I've photographed them before here on April 6th 2007 and April 5th 2009.
Later, on the way back up to the car park I took the opportunity to add the resident Corn Bunting to the club of "birds I've photographed with the monument in the background".
A better angle to see the bird with fewer twigs in the way, but no monument as the supporting cast. There are few plainer birds on the British list than Corn Buntings, but this doesn't prevent them from being attractive and something of a flagship species when it come to preserving the bird life on our agricultural land. Although there have been one or two pairs in the last few years at Bockhill, my experience at a previous site that had kept a much higher proportion of hedges and thus has smaller fields was that the density was probably for or five times as high. There will always be a balance between efficiency and conservation, but anything that can be done to tip the balance natures way is welcome.