Thursday, 31 January 2013

Sex - I could hardly look.

Watching a rather furtive Dunnock creeping about under the bushes it wasn't long before a somewhat "cocky" male joined her and they played around for a while, after he left another male "joined" her, now I know this species has the uumm! distinction of multi mating with the later comers (sorry about the phrasing)pecking at her vent to encourage her to off-load any previous deposits, this gives the latecomer the best chance of becoming a daddy.I really should have averted my gaze but unfaithful sex is not something my garden usually experiences, crikey! it was like watching forty shades of brown. camboy.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Used and Abused.

The recent snow made life rather cold and difficult, but at least the birds were able to have plenty of food due to the many folk taking the trouble to keep feeders topped up. So just how do they show their gratitude? Well! they don't and in fact the garden birds have all but suddenly disappeared now they are able to find what must be easier pickings or perhaps the weather turned up previously hidden treats out in the countryside. Now the bl
og problems have been sorted I will try to put on a couple of photos of the Brambling that it wouldn't accept previously. camboy.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Snow White-A Brief Affair.

Heavy rain last night has removed most of the snow and the return to our green and pleasant land is most welcome. The bullying Fieldfare is still lording it over the garden although other birds are getting better at co-operating and playing a distraction game which means while he/she chases after one others nip in for a feed. camboy

Thursday, 24 January 2013


A most attractive Fieldfare is bossing and bullying other birds in the garden particularly other Thrush species. The only time it is unable to act in such a cruel and unneccessary way is when it is stuffing itself with the ample amounts of food on offer - mind you I know some humans that money has the same affect on. camboy.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Winter Warmers.

The Stanford-in-the-Vale garden gave good views of a Red Kite and Reed Buntings. Plenty of Fieldfare, Goldfinchs, Chaffinchs, Blackbirds and Tits. The Brambling that helped its self to the bird grub I
Had spread out has unfortunately not shown up again and the female Blackcap has been noticable by its absence. camboy

Monday, 21 January 2013

More Wax in me Lugole.

The county seems awash with Waxwings but alas I have not yet clocked one this winter, looking on the bright side, not that the winter has shown us a bright side it's a treat for the near future I hope. camboy.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A tale of two gardens.

Best bird at bampton today a female Blackcap, meanwhile the Stanford garden continues to turn up a few goodies, including my first Brambling of the year and over one hundred Fieldfares feeding on berries in the next door neighbours garden who are rather aptly named Mike & Mary Berry. camboy I have some nice photos of Brambling and Fieldfare but unfortunately and frustratingly even using other methods my computer is refusing to print them - good job I have'nt got a sledgehammer handy.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


As the daylight slowly lengthens so the eternal life cycle of the wild begins to kick in, I noticed a couple of Hares "boxing" on the marsh yesterday and several Blackbirds were behaving somewhat amorously no doubt due to the extra daylight triggering arousal (I know the feeling). With 100 Lapwing 1 Tawney Owl 1 Grey Heron 1 Woodcock 1 Jay 1 Sparrowhawk and a Song Thrush I noticed a dearth of small farmland birds. Th
is morning at St-in-the-Vale through the kitchen window feeding on the seed etc I had spread for them were 30 Starling 20 Chaffinch 2 Dunnock 2 Fieldfare 2 Rook 6 Jackdaw 1 Reed Bunting 1 Grey Wagtail 1 Mistle Thrush 20 House Sparrow 3 Blue Tit 2 Great Tit and 2 Magpie camboy

Monday, 14 January 2013

Snow White gave Me The Blues.

At my Brother-in-Laws early looking out at the fair covering of snow and hoping we don't get much more because the ground is already saturated and a dry period would do a lot of good but I guess it's not to be as it has now started raining, crikey! will it ever stop?
Lots of birds in his very large garden including Mistle Thrush and a female Blackcap that were prominent among the more common species including Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Wren, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Starling, Wood Pigeon and Blackbird.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Cutting Comment.

Just driven from Witney to Bampton and the slasher crasher gnasher hedge shapers are out and cutting the hedges to look unnaturally like large concrete blocks - I wonder if they had the equipment they would shape all our woodland and copse's into bland block like structures .

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Shot Away!

Kindly invited as usual to the Stanford-in-the-Vale shoot yesterday when the highlight was two flocks of Linnets numbering thirty and sixty also fifteen Grey or English Partridge were noted and happily they broke away from where any guns that were in range, although the instruction is to not shoot them many shooters are unable to differentiate between them and the Red Legs so it looks as if we will have a good breeding stock left because we will probably only shoot once more before the end of the season.
Because of the flooded state of the ground this was only the second time we have been able to shoot so we found a few Pheasant about and I think the total bag was twelve or thirteen my own tally was three chances and two birds cleanly killed, this brace is now at my daughters (Neetie) she has asked me how to skin them to expose just the breast meat for this meat is really the only meat on the bird worth using and cubed and flavoured makes a marvellous casserole.
A handsome red Fox was seen.
Lovely Linnet in breeding plumage snapped at Buckland last spring.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Beak and Gorgeous Girls.

Beating at Eynsham Hall today - Apart from a few Buzzard and a Woodcock the main interest was the skull of a Raven the keeper had found and put by for me. My usual help on the game wagon was unable to be there today so I had the help of three gorgeous girls Hannah, Georgie and Amey, I really am being spoilt.


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Haring About.

Kicked off at the Baulking Fullers Earth Pit where a charm of some forty Goldfinch were flitting about and feeding on the many teasels, close by on the water were circa one hundred Mallard, fifty Wigeon,fifty Pochard, forty Tufted Duck and a lone Cormorant.
On to Goosey Wick to check on a really good field containing lots of Chickweed that I discovered early last year but unfortunately the field has since been ploughed so instead of a field full of assorted Finches it was rather lifeless apart from a Hare that remained in its form some twelve yards away as I photographed it.
Next a visit to Buckland to look at the floods from an elevated position, only birds noted at this location were six Long Tailed Tits, one Kestrel and one Red Kite.
Hare sitting tight in its form

Floods looking from Buckland

And Again.

Straw Snake on Buckland Cottage

Straw Chickens on neighbours

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Caw! Jack.

Close by Shellingford crossroads there is a field of unharvested Maize on which a build-up of Corvids and Wood pigeon has gradually reached huge proportions, running on from there alongside the road to Hatford on what I think are distant game strips and even closer to Hatford on bare ploughland, massive numbers of mainly Rook and Jackdaw probably in excess of four thousand spread over several fields make for an unusual display.
Some fifty Teal and twenty two Snipe were the interest at the Shellingford Quarry with a few Winter Thrush and small mixed Finch flock, only other birds were Red Kite and Kestrel. Oh! yes the two Mute Swan are back.
Earlier at Chimney and along the approach road from Aston many Gulls were still on the flood water including about a dozen Lesser Black-Backed Gull I didn't spend time sorting out possible rareties as I didn't want to become as sad as my Larimaniacal friends, suffice to say there were very many Black-Headed Gulls. Winter Thrush, Finch flocks and Pied Wagtail were present and Red Kite and Kestrel were in evidence but the most impressive was the miles of flood water and I joined a couple at a gate looking over this vast expanse of water and suggested it looked an ideal site for a housing estate i'm afraid my humour was lost on them.
Small part of Corvid Flock


Future housing estate

right of the great brook looking east

left side still looking east

the now much greater Great Brook looking west, the brook is the water running down between the trees