Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Inter-Revision Break on Soil Hill

In the baking heat, I decided it was about time I did something other than revise. I decided upon a trip to soil hill, since it wasnt windy, rainy or cold, so it would be a bearable walk to see what was there. I knew that I diddnt have time to go to the pools due to the fact that I needed to get back to keep on working. So off I set.
  On the way up, I walked through our growing flock of starlings. There are probably about 200 adults and 300 juveniles in this flock, and its amazing to see the starling juveniles being fed by the adults really close too, as well as watch the juveniles learn their trade as a starling.

-Juvenile Starling 
Actually on the hill, there were some people from the national grid doing some work on the telegraph poles in the feild at the enterance to the site.
  Actually on the site, there were not too many birds, and not surprise really becuase it was exceptionally hot. So I imagine that they were all resting in the shade somewhere. However, one bird not hiding away were the lapwings, 3 in total, who were busy flying around and displaying. They were great to watch and they came quite close at some times.

I went up to the top to see if there were any waders on the scarpes, instead I was rewarded by a male wheatear that flew past me. I followed it to one of the walls surrounding the site. I tried to get closer to it, and doing so flushed some unknown partridges. However, the wheatearwas canny and diddnt let me get too close. Instead I opted for a different tactic, to go around the bird and try and get closer from there. It worked as the bird flew down from the wall to nearer to where I was positioned. It still wasnt overly close, but did allow me to get some resonable shots as it strutted its stuff.

-Male Wheatear
Moving furthur across the hill, I spotted a curlew perched on the far side of the top, which is a species I don't think I have ever seen landed at this site before. Unfortunatly it was very flighty, I was still a good 100 meters away from it when it went up and headed off towards the moors.

I headed across to where the curlew had been, to have a look at what was on the main pool of water in the track dividing the hill. There were no waders, but there was a stunning male linnet that stuck around, after the rest of the flock moved to the other side of the pool. My dad says that the linnets we have in our garden have been around recently, but I havent seen them, making this the first linnet of the year.

Moved around the back of the hill on the eastern side to see if there any partridges in the grass thats been planted there. Unfortunatly not, only there were a few skylarks singing around, which was the best on this side of the hill.
  As I readided to leave, one of the lapwings cameand started circling above me really close. I took a few quick photos but realised that i must have upset it, so made a swift get-away to prevent upsetting it furthur.

So overall a great revision break, but I had to get back to get my nose back to the grindstone

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