Lazy Birding

After a bit of shopping in Marlborough I headed into Savernake intending to have gentle stroll around. I drove in on the track to Savernake Lodge and parked in the first pull-in. There were a good few birds flitting around and as it had just started snowing I decided to watch from the car. I opened the passenger side window which was on the lee side of the car and settled down to watch. A large number of birds were foraging in the carpet of leaves, sometimes all that could be seen was leaves being thrown up as the birds delved in. There were loads of Great and Blue Tits, a couple of Blackbirds and a Robin. Coal Tits were feeding in the trees and couple of Nuthatches were calling with one being seen. Adding to the activity a flock of Finches appeared and joined in on the ground. Mainly Chaffinches but at least three Bramblings were amongst them. Eventually the flock moved on as did I as far as the Amity Oak where a Wren was noisily moving around and three Buzzards flew through the trees. As I was driving out and just before rejoining the A4 I saw another large flock of birds feeding on the ground. Another lot of finches, this time with a greater number of Bramblings. Two lots within a few minutes was great. Then it was along the A4 to Froxfield. The main lake was empty apart from a couple of decoy ducks but the flooded field next to it came up trumps with twelve Little Egrets, two Heron, two Green Sandpipers, nine Lapwing and a flock of Fieldfare. Heading back on the top road towards Ramsbury there was another large flock of Fieldfare and a little further along in a hedgerow and area of game cover were a few Redwing, some Chaffinches and a couple more Redwing. Two Red Kites were displaying over Ramsbury and on the swollen River Kennet the only birds seen were a pair of Mallard and some Mute Swans. Along near Ramsbury Manor were Canada Geese and two Black Swans. Along the road up to the Ramsbury Brewery and along Aldbourne Chase which I have dubbed Raptor Alley there were three each of Red Kite and Buzzard, two Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel. Along with loads of Snowdrops along the verge were plenty of Pheasants and Red-legged Partridges along with a couple of Hares. Final stop was a flooded field near Draycot which held four species of Gulls and a pair of Mallards. So again another good collection of birds without going more than a few feet from the car.       Later on I needed to go to Wroughton and made a brief stop at Wroughton Reservoir. An initial count found nineteen Tufted Ducks, three Gadwall and four Little Grebes. All of a sudden another lot of Grebes just popped up from under the water giving a final tally of thirteen.

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Finally and for no reason other than it looked nice in the sunshine, some pictures of Liddington Hill taken from the house.


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