Great Weather for Ducks, and Pigeons

This afternoon I was in Marlborough and despite the rain decided to take the circuitous route home via Chilton Foliat. A small loop into Savernake got me absolutely no birds. Along the A4 it was mainly Pigeons and a few corvids. Just before Froxfield a male Sparrowhawk shot over the roadside hedge and flew, about three feet above the ground, along the verge. At one point it was alongside the car but I slowed to let it get ahead of me. Amazingly it flew along the verge for a good half-a-mile. I was travelling at an indicated forty miles an hour to match its speed. Eventually it crossed back over the hedge and disappeared from view. At Froxfield birds seen were Little Egret, Grey Heron, several Moorhens and mallard and a large flock of Wood Pigeons. At Chilton Foliat they are still working on the ex woodland. The western side of the road has now been cleared and on the eastern side some new trees have been planted creating a completely different habitat. On the water it was pretty well all ducks. I was surprised at the large amount of Gadwall, at least sixty-eight counted but as some were moving in and out of the riverside vegetation I think that there were a few uncounted. Also twenty-seven Mallard and fourteen Tufties. A couple of Mute Swans and a heard only Little Grebe were the only other birds on the water. The only non-water birds seen were,  Blackbird, a Robin heard singing in the undergrowth and several small flocks of Wood Pigeons. They certainly don’t seem to mind the rain.

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