After a busy couple of weeks, I have decided to make another blog post, this time just about the birds that I have seen around me recently.
I managed to make another trip up to RSPB Otmoor whilst I had some time to see if I could catch sight of the Cranes again. This time, I was very pleased because I managed to locate them without being shown where they were. This was not an easy feat though because they are usually right on the far side of a very large field, hiding amongst some very long grasses. The only time it is possible to see them is when they occasionally poke up their head to have a look around. After a few minutes of scanning the field with my scope, I finally had a stroke of luck and spotted two of them. (N.b. there was a mistake on my last post – I have actually seen Cranes one other time as well as the others – in France).
Also while I was up there, I had a very close encounter with a Turtle Dove, where one was just sitting not far in front of me, on some gravel, eating some seed. I had not seen one on the ground before, as usually they are very timid and generally just perch up in a tree whilst ‘purring’.
I was very pleased to see a Peregrine Falcon up there, circling up high with a Buzzard, because this was the first time I had seen one here before – I wonder if they might be nesting up on the television/radio mast nearby. Soon though, it had soared up so high that I could no longer see it, especially as it was a very sunny day and the sun was far too bright to look up into.
Whilst on the bus to school, as I was sitting at the front, I suddenly noticed up ahead what looked like a Sparrowhawk chasing a small bird (presumably a Tit or something) across a very busy road. The Sparrowhawk itself was being chased by a Woodpigeon – not the cleverest of things to do. At the edge of the road, the Sparrowhawk suddenly caught the small bird and dived straight down into a small bit of grass next to the pavement. By the time that our bus managed to pass the area where I saw it disappear, it had gone. I was quite surprised by this incident – seeing a woodland predator hunting very close to the city centre of Oxford, but I suppose it shows just how much our wildlife has adapted to living in our cities.
Whilst bird ringing recently, I ringed my first Goldcrest. I find it amazing just how how small they are, especially with the bird weighing in at 5.1g – half of the weight of a Wren that I also ringed earlier that day.