I set out to do my last BBS survey this morning intending to take loads of fantastic photos having failed to take my camera on an earlier visit and missed loads of opportunities. Of course today was overcast and rubbish for photography but I gave it a go never the less
I was particularly looking forward to an opportunity to find a mistle thrush which I had seen earlier in the week near the Park Farm Hotel. This is only the second bird I have seen in the village this year and is much rarer than its close cousin the song thrush. . Today I managed to see one on the same road but at the Wymondham end.
As is obvious from the photo the bird was making life difficult to get a shot first hiding in a bush it flew up to a tree and then disappeared. If I hadn’t heard it call I would have struggled to detect it at all.
As thrushes can be difficult to tell apart I have embedded the BTO Video as a reminder for anyone who wants to watch better shots than mine:
The BBS survey route is just down the Road from the village and covers the Northern outskirts of Wymondham. On the map it looks like urban sprawl but it contains some wilder areas and Ketts Park home to the recent black redstart and as with all birding you never know what may turn up.
The first stretch held my mistle thrush as well as good number of swifts and a singing skylark in the only field not yet built on. I had to wait until section four for a singing song thrush and the section ended with good numbers of goldfinch which can brighten up the most overcast morning.
The next section starts with lots of open grassland but with good areas of scrub and wild life corridors which were home to good quantities of finches and warblers as well as passing families of tits including my favourite acrobats the long tailed tits. At this time of year it can be difficult to weed out the fledglings and only count the adults. Getting photos was just as difficult
The wood pigeon was not surprisingly the most common bird of the morning and of the next stretch closely followed by the blackbird which was the more photogenic.
The next stretch covers industrial land some wasteland and the local constabulary headquarters I noticed a couple of thieving individuals who initially looked set to break into the buildings of the police but on closer inspection the culprits were looking for insects and spiders
The last stretch produced good numbers of singing greenfinches blackcap and wrens as well as a flyover grey heron and kestrel. It is a decade since the last grey heron sighting on this BBS area and potentially a sign that numbers are good in the general area. The last stretch has historically been good for brown hare but the best I could do this year was the smaller more common rabbit.