Teal

A superb, cold weekend. Walking through the park on Saturday, I was delighted to hear that odd piping/whistling call that only Teal make, from the direction of the Decoy Pond. I didn’t see any, but it sounded as though there was more than one – the first I’ve ever recorded in Firle.

Also in the park, a few dozen Black-headed and Common Gulls (but far fewer than last weekend) and a couple of Skylarks overhead.

At Beanstalk, a Reed Bunting or two were again in the hedge near the pig sty, alongside plenty of other small fry in the surrounding area. If there’s a Merlin around at the moment, I wouldn’t bet against it being seen here.

Returning along the Coach Road, a covey of (presumably Red-legged) partridges were flushed across a ploughed field, but were out of sight before I could get bins on them. Over the Plantation, a pair of Buzzards mewed, persistently mobbed by a crow.

Back near the village, in the paddocks at Place Farm, a sprightly mixed flock of thrushes included equal numbers of Redwings and Fieldfares, plus three Mistle Thrushes – around 30 in all. A Treecreeper sang in nearby trees (one of at least three territorial birds around the village at the moment).

Today, Paul reported many more winter thrushes, perhaps a couple of hundred in the area, and a feeding group of 2-3,000 Woodpigeons on the winter crop. A walk along Chalky Road just before dusk revealed at least two Little Owls going frantic.

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