Sunday, 6 December 2009

Local Patch Exploration.

For the first time in many years I decided that the time had come to check out the wildlife possibilities closer to home without using the car. We live right on the edge of an area of 'green belt' that comprises arable farmland, a Country Park (including an Equestrian and Sports Centre) with extensive horse paddocks, small pockets of deciduous woodland, a number of very tiny ponds and rough pasture. After leaving the housing estate the path takes me past very noisy dog kennels and the uphill between the farm fields. Occupants in the fields were Carrion Crows and Magpies. Robin and Blue Tit in the hedgerow with very noisy Rose-ringed Parakeets passing overhead.
All the horses I saw have already donned their winter jackets.
View over the extensive paddocks
While unsucessfully trying to get shots of some Redwing feeding on berries, constantly disturbed by dog walkers, I spied this Fox traversing the grassland and disappearing into one of the small woods. Shortly afterwards a Stoat shot across the path in front of me. As expected Woodpigeons are common and I also saw Collared Doves, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel hovering over the nearby Cottage Hospital, Greenfinch plus overflying Black-headed and Herring Gulls.
My homeward journey through Castle Hill Woods produced the most avian activity; Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits feeding high in the canopy, Jay, Blackbird, Crows, plus Nuthatch calling and at long last the chance of snapping a male Great Spotted Woodpecker. (The pic had to be heavily cropped).
Who knows what I will find on my next exploration but I may need to go out very early to beat the dog walkers!  FAB.


  1. Sounds like a great local patch Frank; apart from the dreaded dog walkers.

  2. You had some great encounters, specially the stoat and fox. Are the Parakeets usual for your area Frank?

  3. Excellent post Frank. I can see even the horses are wearing their winter clothes! Beautiful shots you got from the woodpecker!

  4. I look forward to hearing more from your local patch. Shame about the dog walkers, it's the same on my patch!

    Those paddocks look good for Whinchat, wheatear, yellow wag etc...

  5. That local walk has lots of possibilities Frank. Perhaps a regular feature.?

  6. Wonderful post and photos. I wish I could see all that on a walk near my home. I did see a fox go through our yard one morning and once in a while some deer will pass by but I never seem to have my camera handy.

    Have a great day.

  7. Hi "Early Birders". Thanks for all your comments.

    JPT. I was fortunate as the light was reasonable after many days of rain!

    Keith. Still lots of tracks & paths to explore.

    Jenny. Yes, Parakeets are very common here. We are only a few miles from their main overnight roost site.

    Chris. Jackets on the horses is a sure sign we may need to wrap up. Hoping for better shots of the GSW in the future.

    Warren. I know we all have to share these spaces but why do they always appear when you need some peace & quiet! You're right the location does look promising for 2010 sightings.

    Roy. I think so, but need to do some more exploration and find some quiet corners to watch.

    Cindy. You have to get into the habit of always having the camera by your side. BTW we have foxes passing thro' the garden most nights.

    Have a good week my friends. FAB.

  8. Stunning photos Frank.
    I think we're all quilty enough at times not to explore our own patch, but when we do, pleasant surprises.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your series of Norfolk postings aswell.

    Kind Regards

  9. Very nice Frank. The big tree looks like it could be right here in my field. Love that sly fox.

  10. Hi Shirleyanne. I've always felt guilty about not checking local possibilities but now it's time to put things right. More on Norfolk very soooon!

    Hi Eve. You're very fortunate to have a back yard with so many trees.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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