Saturday, 30 March 2013

More tales from foreign parts

The Safari was woken ridiculously early by an unsettled Frank. It was just about light so we took him out but he wouldn't go far and turned himself into a belligerent depleted uranium anchor! Nothing for it but to take him back in. We didn't go back to bed like what he did but closed the door on him and headed back to the pond to retrieve the stealth-cam.
By-eck it was chilly and a smattering of fine snow had fallen.
That didn't put the birds off singing as sooner or later spring will arrive they need to on the ball and on top of their game. Curlews flew over towards the nearby moors their haunting song crystal clear in the cold air...we were glad to be out. A Skylark rose from the middle of the still unploughed field and we watched it ascend into the blue heavens giving it plenty of vocal welly as it went. Behind us in the 'A' trimmed hedge a Yellowhammer sang its simple 'Little bit of bread and no cheese' ditty. Someone had a good imagination to work that one out but they got it spot on. Tree Sparrows called unseen from the depths too. This is a 'real' farm with lots of the 'old-fashioned' farmland wildlife still on it - good choice for a break as we didn't know this when we booked. Two Grey Partridges ran down a 'tram-line' in front of us before scudding over the hedge into the next field.
One of the Tee Sparrows showed itself briefly while a Reed Bunting sang down by the pond half of which had frozen over. Three drake Mallards dropped in and overhead a small skein of Grey Lag Geese headed northwards. In the distance a woodpecker drummed...but which species?
In the courtyard of the cottages - converted byres and piggeries we think - the House Sparrows are double noisy chirruping from the depths of the centre-piece ornamental planting. 
All that before 06.30!
A bit of early sun between the clouds illuminated the horse thing quite nicely.
A check of stealth-cam only confirmed that it had snowed during the night...we try again tonight.
Anyone know if gas cannons actually frighten birds - they don't seem to here, well not crows anyway!
Another walk out with Frank a little later had him getting a bit warm - how - on a freezing cold day? And too cool down he found one of the last remaining patches of snow.
Which he promptly started to eat!

Still no sign of any summer migrants although a Meadow Pipit overhead was going northwards.
A drive round to the white horse itself gave us another nice close view of a pair of Grey Partridges sitting on the roadside verge.
The white horse isn't as good viewed close up.
The steps up to the top were scarily steep. so steep we found them harder than climbing Mt Kinabalu only 13 years ago which is only 4000m higher.

From the top we had a great view
And right across north Yorkshire to the Yorkshire Dales national Park which are still well covered in snow.
The hillside behind us looked absolutely bob-on for Adders but in the very brief scout around we didn't find one.
Where to next? Pub for some crackin locally brewed ale!
In the meantime let us know if your outback is getting any more summery.


Warren Baker said...

Sounds like a great bit of farmland you're visiting Davyman.

No the gas cannons dont deter much - apart from birders! They have been booming away here for the past 5 months!!!

The Hairy Birder said...

Enjoy that real ale Dave!