Walking’s good for birds

Like a lot of us emerging from hibernation, I’ve taken to walking a lot more lately. Granted, in my case this is in part due to some exasperating traffic restrictions on my (usually driven) route to work – but whatever the cause, it’s been a good week to be on foot.

Apart from the reduction in noxious emissions (a good thing for birds, and other living things) getting out of the car frees your eyes and in particular your ears to the season’s voice. Previously unbeknownst to me, there are Dunnocks in the hedgerows on the way to work – lots of them, throwing out their short, sweet warbling phrases. And the Nuthatches that I saw a lot of last spring (while in parental, village-orientated mode) are back in the same spot to breed this season, in the ‘nature reserve’ woodland, between the entrance to Firle Park and the school.

Then there are the birds passing overhead – yesterday four Cormorants, the most I’ve yet seen together in the area, heading towards the Ouse. The House Martins are back at their favoured spot just down Mill Lane, where they hawk near the lip of the old chalk pit. The two adult Great Black-Backed Gulls, hauling their Heron-heavy frames over the park fields in the hope of spoils from the lambing season.

Most or all of these would have gone unnoticed in the car. Two feet good, four tyres bad.

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3 thoughts on “Walking’s good for birds

  1. I agree with your sentiments about walking, although I find that birds fly away quicker from a human figure than from a car or bike (Little Owls watching the traffic go by from a nearby stump are a case in point – they won’t allow a walker within 50 yards).

    Birdsong continues from hedgerows as you pass, however, and that’s a joy at this time of the year.

    You’re lucky to have House Martins, as i haven’t seen anyyet….good weather is on its way….maybe tomorrow?

  2. Cheers Steve, good point about the car – my first was a 1980 Mini, in a splendid shade of dark brown. Low to the ground and blending in with tree trunks or muddy tracks it made a pretty good mobile hide. But at this time of year being able to hear the birdsong on your journey is magic.

    House Martins are still thin on the ground (well, in the air) down here – did yesterday’s fine weather bring any to your neck of the woods?

    Nice Garganeys, by the way.

  3. Not often I get a compliment like that ;-}

    I’ve seen no House Martins yet, let alone Swifts but am getting out less due to work.

    I agree with your comments on Common ‘throats….I heard (then saw) my first today, and had to think deeply to recall which song it was. They’ll be all too familiar in a week or so.

    I’ll be in Eastbourne again this weekend and hope to cover a bit of ground between there and Seaford, an the forecast’s looking good.

    All the best!

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