I didn’t start the day with the intention of seeing any wildlife but it just kind of happened. One of those lucky days I guess when the wildlife appears and puts on a show right in front of you.
Jackdaws gather as the light fades
I had a slumpy day today. We had rushed around yesterday having lunch with Andrew’s family and seeing my sister and her partner in the morning, and by the time we got home at 6pm it was a bit late for a walk. I was determined to get out for some fresh-air today.
I spent this morning working out how my new Christmas camera attachments worked. The birds around the bird feeder became my guinea-pigs. With a new ultra-zoom lens I was able to get in pretty close – great to see their individual feathers and markings.
I’ve uploaded the video. It only runs for just over a minute and for the first (and maybe the last) time ever I’ve added a narration. Let me know what you think. The focus isn’t perfect but hey practise makes perfect and the birds got some extra sunflower hearts as a thank you!
The daylight was already fading this afternoon as I set out for my promised walk. I thought I’d take a look round the old Dragon Quarry (that I’d last visited in October). The quarry was bleak and grey, no dragonflies now. In fact nothing moved and the wind was vicious, so I changed tack and went to have a look in a nearby wood for badger setts. Drew a blank there as well. Oh, well…
Jumping a fence and making my way down the hill away from Mountain Clump (that’s a wood not an infliction!) I stopped to listen to the birds squabbling in the hedge. They were making such a din I thought something was attacking them… but no, it was just bad tempers and jostling for space!
The first flocks appear and join up
The sun was setting quickly now and small flocks of what I think must have been Jackdaws were joining up with other flocks above me. As I watched the flock got bigger and bigger and louder and louder. I keep promising myself to go and watch the flocks of Starlings on the Somerset Levels but here I was with my very own aerial display.
Jackdaws fill the sky
Literally thousands of Jackdaws filled the now orange sky. Swooping, squawking and spiralling before landing in the trees on the other side of the little hidden valley. It was a stunning display. Not something I’m going to forget in a hurry.
A noise behind me made me jump (I was concentrating so hard on the birds above). Looking around three Roe Deer had appeared out of the woods no more than 20 ft away from me. They hadn’t seen me but now they smelt me and within a couple of seconds they were bounding off over the field stamping and grunting their displeasure.
Time to go home. Not a bad day really.