Notes from a field - Bob Sheridan
© 1996 - 2018 Mike Frisby Langham in Rutland
October 2015 The summer has been quiet for the ground dwelling birds. The pond has dried up and the moorhens have decamped to the brook. The pheasants have spread out into the fields and ducks have disappeared. I did not see any pheasant chicks this year which is unusual. It is always an anxious time to see who will return later in the year. The swallows managed to fledge a brood of four. The first to fly made a poor start and landed just in front of me. I was going to see if it was all right but the parents were dive - bombing my head so I backed off and watched from a little further away. Within a few minutes it launched itself into the air and was soon performing aerobatics. The others managed to stay in the air. I don't know where the swallows have gone this year. They normally stay around and are seen hawking over the field. This year the sky has been virtually empty and the parents did not return for a second brood. Will any make it back next year? The first week in August I saw three fieldfares. This seems very early as I would not expect them until September or October. About the same time I spent a pleasant twenty minutes or so watching a pair of what I think were garden warblers ( my warbler identification is not very good) feeding their young. From a distance I at first thought
they were spotted flycatchers as they were catching insects on the wing from a tree branch. It was only as I got closer I realised they were warblers. The kite seems to have found a mate as I spotted a pair over the village. The buzzards have found a new technique for catching Rabbits. They sit very still on a fence post in area that divides rough grass and short grass. I have not actually seen them catch anything as it is difficult to get close without them flying off. The squirrels have been busy in the garden as peanuts are coming up in my potted plants! Peanuts are interesting to grow as the plant, once the flowers have been pollinated, grows down into the soil where the nut develops. Hence the other name for them is ground nut. If you try this at home they need an early start and make sure you use nuts in the shell, roasted ones don't work! The little egret put in an appearance at the end of August, as did several goldcrests picking insects from the fir trees. A shrill squeal alerted me to a group of magpies attacking a young rabbit. The rabbit escaped and ran off but this is the first time I have seen magpies act as a group to attack an apparently healthy animal. A pair of muntjac deer seem to have taken up residence and are regularly seen out in the open in late afternoon. One of them, along with a fox, was seen in a nearby garden early one morning. One day I decided to see how close I could get to one of them. The wind was behind me so I didn't expect to get very close. I made no attempt to conceal myself, simply standing still when it looked in my direction. I kept getting closer and closer and with every step thought this is going to be the last. Eventually I got to within ten yards and watched it for several minutes before it went back into the trees.
Notes from a field - Bob Sheridan
Langham in Rutland © 1996 - 2018 Mike Frisby
October 2015 The summer has been quiet for the ground dwelling birds. The pond has dried up and the moorhens have decamped to the brook. The pheasants have spread out into the fields and ducks have disappeared. I did not see any pheasant chicks this year which is unusual. It is always an anxious time to see who will return later in the year. The swallows managed to fledge a brood of four. The first to fly made a poor start and landed just in front of me. I was going to see if it was all right but the parents were dive - bombing my head so I backed off and watched from a little further away. Within a few minutes it launched itself into the air and was soon performing aerobatics. The others managed to stay in the air. I don't know where the swallows have gone this year. They normally stay around and are seen hawking over the field. This year the sky has been virtually empty and the parents did not return for a second brood. Will any make it back next year? The first week in August I saw three fieldfares. This seems very early as I would not expect them until September or October. About the same time I spent a pleasant twenty minutes or so watching a pair of what I think were garden warblers ( my warbler identification is not very good) feeding their young. From a distance I at first thought they were spotted flycatchers as they were catching insects on the wing from a tree branch. It was only as I got closer I realised they were warblers. The kite seems to have found a mate as I spotted a pair over the village. The buzzards have found a new technique for catching Rabbits. They sit very still on a fence post in area that divides rough grass and short grass. I have not actually seen them catch anything as it is difficult to get close without them flying off. The squirrels have been busy in the garden as peanuts are coming up in my potted plants! Peanuts are interesting to grow as the plant, once the flowers have been pollinated, grows down into the soil where the nut develops. Hence the other name for them is ground nut. If you try this at home they need an early start and make sure you use nuts in the shell, roasted ones don't work! The little egret put in an appearance at the end of August, as did several goldcrests picking insects from the fir trees. A shrill squeal alerted me to a group of magpies attacking a young rabbit. The rabbit escaped and ran off but this is the first time I have seen magpies act as a group to attack an apparently healthy animal. A pair of muntjac deer seem to have taken up residence and are regularly seen out in the open in late afternoon. One of them, along with a fox, was seen in a nearby garden early one morning. One day I decided to see how close I could get to one of them. The wind was behind me so I didn't expect to get very close. I made no attempt to conceal myself, simply standing still when it looked in my direction. I kept getting closer and closer and with every step thought this is going to be the last. Eventually I got to within ten yards and watched it for several minutes before it went back into the trees.