Tuesday, 13 November 2012
I can see Wales from here......
Yesterday i visited Herefordshire,it was the first time (i think),i have ever visited the county and certainly won't be the last,absolutely stunning place.I took a family there for a wedding,we left at 6.30am and didn't arrive until just before 11.30am mainly due to the M25 and a bit of traffic around Oxford,we had the usual Red Kites on the M40,wonderful birds,along with a few Buzzards and plenty of Thrushes along the A40 west of Witney,a few Partridge and Pheasant along with a Kestrel here and there and a Sparrowhawk in Cheltenham made for a lovely journey.After dropping the family off in Hope Under Dinmore i had a quick drive to Hereford as i wanted to go to Edgar Street,the home of Hereford United,who i have tremendous respect for ever since they beat Dagenham 9-0 live on TV!!!
I then made my way to Queenswood Country Park,where i settled myself with Sausage,Bacon<eggs and chips while listening to a couple of posh country sorts discussing the pains of parenthood,bless!!
I took my camera with me but made the slight error of not taking the battery out of the charger from the night before,schoolboy error,so i have no pics,nevermind as its a woodland sight and they would probably of been all pants...
Its a very nice place,lots of tall trees,i think the park dates from around the 1st world war,or the ownership of the park does and is situated on a hill with views looking south,east and west towards and into Hereford,Herefordshire,Wales and probably beyond on a clear bright day,which yesterday wasn't although it did brighten up early afternoon for a while.
Birds on the site included the usual woodland birds,Marsh Tit,Bullfinch,Treecreeper etc,i had 3 Buzzards perched in trees and 5 Ravens in total over the view point,Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers were seen,they also have Lesser Spotted but i didn't see them.I made my way off the site mid afternoon and after washing all the mud off the car i parked up in a layby where i watched Buzzards,thrushes and a Barn Owl until dusk,arriving home around 9pm
This morning i made my way onto familiar ground in Thames Chase's Broadfield Farm in Upminster,armed with my camera and yes,my battery,retrieved from the aforementioned charger.I decided to head for the scrape first thing and it turned out to be a good idea,on the way there i had a large flock of Siskin,around 35 birds (think it was 34 but i kept losing count as the whizzed around,although they didn't settle so i could get a pic or confirm this.Making my way under the M25 i had a couple of Redwing and then near the scrape i had around 40 Long Tailed Tits,certainly the biggest flock i have seen,in with these were at least 5 Goldcrest and a couple of Blue Tits.
On the scrape itself was my first Teal for the site,although this was spooked by me as i approached,as was the now resident Green Sandpiper,although he did return after a few minutes.Pied and Grey Wagtails were around as were 3 Mallards.
I then made my way back across the mottorway and to the centre,another smaller flock of Siskins was floating around and a decent size flock of Greenfinch,i could also hear a single Yellowhammer.I ate my Bacon baguette (brown),with a white chocolate cookie and a Pot of Tea.I then returned outside for my "afternoon sesh".T~his time i hit the top of the site,as i call it,this is the area that has the most woodland but is good for Redpolls,Bullfinch and Siskin,especially if you want to get photos,there are some great areas to pitch up,my favourite being where i spent all afternoon,in the middle of some bushes,looking up at some small pines,i got some decent shots of Redpoll but none of Bullfinch although i heard at least 4 birds.
Today,i think i may of come to terms with my camera,it seemed easier to handle,not saying i got great shots but although a reasonably bright day,it wasn't particularly sunny,i think i should just keep snapping and stop worrying about the perfect picture,anyway,back to the birds,had 3 Buzzards on the site and the best of all,a Peregrine whizzing past the woods,sadly no shot of this,by the time i had looked at it through the bins and put my camera in the air,it had gone.I met up with Ron Colson briefly and we watched some more Redpolls & Siskin before making our way back to the Car Park,Ron went home but i fancied looking for Barn Owl,i bumped into a couple who said they had seen it in the usual place about a week ago and true to fotrm it popped out at around 4.45pm,very briefly and by now it was nearly dark,only just over a month till the days start getting longer!!!!!