Safari Britain, 12 July

Less windy than last weekend, but rather chilly when the sun was in. Nine guests of the Safari Britain camp came along for a short walk along the escarpment, and the birds didn’t let us down.

Close to the campsite, a couple of Kestrels manoeuvred themselves in the breeze, showing off the skills that give them their alternative (and better) name, ‘Windhover’.

In the copse just up from the campsite, a party of Goldcrests called from the trees but kept themselves hidden. In the quiet that is mid-July, a loud lone Wren made sure there was some song to listen to. A Woodpigeon cooed softly and a Carrion Crow made gruffer sounds in handy comparison to the occasional Rooks and Jackdaws.

Onto the open hillside, and Meadow Pipits were in evidence, plus a Green Woodpecker flying low across the grass. Overhead, small, loose groups of Swifts headed east, along with numerous Herring Gulls, and one Black-headed. A couple of neat fly-by Stock Doves offered a change from the ubiquitous Woodpigeons.

In the strip of woodland on the pasture’s edge, a Blackcap provided welcome snippets of sweet music, but Blackbird and Chaffinch could muster only contact calls.

Back at the campsite, a Red-legged Partridge called from the hillside, and at least a couple (perhaps a family group) of Treecreepers ‘whispered’ their way through the trees.

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