This morning I was taking a few shots of my favourite Sparrows, at the Kitchen feeding station, I was about 4 metres from them,when chaos ensued.
A Cock Sparrow, on top of Pam's "Studio" sunning itself before a fat ball feast.
a good front view, showing the rather neat bib and strong seed-eating bill.
This one was a very good model, showing his best side, as well. Note the small white spot behind the eye.
Anyway, about the furore that took place. Suddenly all the Sparrows that were sitting around dived into the pyracanthus bush and a Sparrowhawk swept by my and chased its prey.Although the bush is close the the Kitchen wall the hawk managed to circle it three times, reaching into it as it went, and taking no notice of me standing there. It finally flew off, without a catch, and the Sparrows settled back in their stronghold.
Later I walked up the road to Barrow Mount, an area of scrub that affords great views of the surrounding country.
It wasn't very birdy, although I did flush a small covey of Grey Partridges as I walked across it. In the horse field next to it there were a few Gulls, of three species, feeding.
A Black-headed Gull, no black head in winter, and a Common Gull, with the slightly darker back and a somewhat pigeon like head.
I think the gulls, rather like Badgers, Little Owls and even Buzzards, make the most of the wet meadows finding worms as they come to the surface.
A few of the larger Herring Gulls were also using the field.
These two pictures show the difference in the wing patterns of the Black-headed, above, and Common Gull, below.
From Barrow Mount there are some great views, showing many of the Bockhill birding features.
Ringwold Church, with its unusual tower, is to the NW.
Slightly further to the N the handsome Ripple Windmill stands out.
Always dominating the Bockhill patch the Monument overlooks the area.
The Duke of York's Royal Military School clock-tower, looking SW.
Looking down to Bockhill Farm, with the small Farm Wood, a site with many scarce birds to its credit, and the Paddock above it on the right.
The Freedown, on the left and the "Big Field" on the right.
As we haven't had any winter weather the grassed "Big Field" is very green and productive, and the wintering sheep must be doing very well.
Looking towards the sea over Orchid Bottom and the big top field.
When available, The Empty Wood, has seldom yielded any good records, hence the nickname.
Looking down the "valley" to the New Townsend Farm.