Nearly finches in the evil wind

From the comfort of a centrally-heated home, you might have  looked out on the unbroken sunshine of the last couple of days and thought: Spring’s in the air.

But pity the fool who stepped out in T-shirt and shorts. Leaving the house was like discovering that you’d wandered into a fan-assisted freezer.

Today an early walk on the Downs had me wrapping my scarf round my head like a little old lady against the evil wind; most birds (being scarfless) were just avoiding the whole thing. A couple of loud birds coming out of the Plantation made a sound that just might have been Crossbill; nearby in the beeches there were brief but decidely Brambling-ish sounds. Couldn’t confirm either species, and had to make do with:

a Buzzard terrifying a big bunch of Red-legged Partridges,

singing Treecreeper and Mistle Thrush just below the escarpment nr Beanstalk

a kik-kik-kiking pair of Kestrels in the Pleasure Gardens, and one hunting low and close near the Beacon

Yellowhammer overhead, a few Fieldfares, lots of Common Gulls

Other stuff

Still no sign (for me) of a Red Kite – one was reported from Firle school on Wednesday, but I could only muster Buzzards (albeit 4 together) when I spent a while in the Park yesterday.

Around the cricket pitch early in the week there was a pack of 13 Long-tailed Tits, but then only a paired-up duo the other day – maybe they’ve decided it’s Spring despite the lethal wind-chill. So too have at least a couple of Goldcrests, singing near the Ram and at Place Farm.

On my way into Glynde one morning a female Bullfinch flew close in front of the car – I never usually see or hear them here, so it stuck in my head (fortunately not in my grille).

The novelty of our Narnian winter has worn off now, so here’s hoping for some double-figure daytime temperatures soon. Chiffchaffs are due in the next ten days, it’s just not polite.

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