Monday, August 25, 2008

finding the right field

Another pointless evening trip round the high ground to the north-west. Its a frustrating place; several square miles, several very large fields, very few obvious places to stop and survey the area.

Half the problem seems to be finding the right field; here's a picture taken tonight of an empty field.

A couple of weeks ago this held over a hundred BHG's, and then 50 LBBG and some Common Gulls and c300 Corvids, and the following night 24 Lapwings, but since then; nothing.

This is the big field, looking from Blount's Farm toward Morris's Farm.

The concrete road in the middle of the field is the border of the old airfield, used mainly in WWII to do SOE activity and photo-recognisance. This can be an excellent field, holding regular Golden Plover in autumn and winter. I've had Marsh Harrier and Black-tailed Godwit in this field, but it must surely get more passerines amongst the finch flocks that appear in autumn. Tonight it held a pair of Kestrels

Clearly the state of the field has much to do with the birds; between harvesting and the next crop appearing the field is in a state of flux, and birds come and go. But understanding the timing both within the day and with farming activity is currently beyond me.

I managed to find a hot spot twenty years ago. I grew up just north of Leeds, but it was only as I was leaving for the second time that I discovered a few fields a couple of miles away from my family home; Whinchats, Wheatears, Tree Pipits (well, Pipit), Redstarts, Yellow wagtails. Several years later I found myself working in Leeds again, went up there in September, and had similar results. I've mentioned it a couple of times on the appropriate Birdforum thread without response; I began to feel like the mad bloke ranting in the corner, so I let it go, but I bet its still producing migrants.

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