Tuesday, 21 September 2010

French connection

I'm sure that the Lapland Buntings will still be around somewhere, but it won't be on the "big field" any more because the stubble has been ploughed. The speed at which stubble fields disappear, and the efficiency of cropping nowadays, is a major factor in the decline of farmland birds. The source of food, in the form of fallen seed, is firstly diminished and secondly rapidly removed.

This was one bird that was feeding on the newly ploughed soil. As strange looking creature.

Once landed the white patches on it's wings and tail were tucked away.

So that on the ground it quickly reverted to being pretty much an ordinary looking Carrion Crow.

Although in general I'm not a fan of introduced species this Red-legged Partridge in one of the gardens on Kingsdown Leas does make a good portrait. Red-legged Partridges became established in the UK after they were introduced into Suffolk in 1770. The species was introduced to help satisfy the blood lust of the landed gentry but it wasn't considered a very sporting bird because of it's tendency too run away on foot and flying poorly. It 's flavour was also considered to be inferior to the Grey. I don't know what the current status of the "French Partridge" is with the modern country "sportsmen".

I didn't manage to get very close to the White-rumped Sandpiper at Oare Marshes. It was for this reason that I'd resisted the temptation to go and see it before. But yesterday I got the eye piece of my Telescope back from Swarovksi. It had needed an overhaul, after 13 years of mistreatment and It was a good excuse to try it out. Through the scope the views were fine, and I was lucky enough to bump into Murray Wright. one of the finders, who put me onto the bird, tucked away in a distant corner. We walked round and had some good views of the bird from the see wall, before it left the flood and disappeared into the creek as the tide went down.

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