Friday 1 May 2015

It' Getting Tough Out There

I've been out checking on the few remaining Corn Buntings at the western edge of Leicestershire. I was shocked to see that at my best site near Twycross the crop had changed from the traditional cereal type to Oil Seed Rape. This is not a crop which is favoured by Corn Buntings more of a cash crop for the farmer I guess. Two Corn Buntings were sitting out on top of one of the plants, but they looked as bemused as I did. Nearby at Appleby Magna I found a singing male and there was still a cereal crop, but much smaller than in the past.

At Appleby Magna a pair of both Yellow Wagtail and Grey Partridge were in residence. It was good to see these birds, as even these are getting harder to find now a days.

It's hard not to get despondent with all the changes going on at the sites I visit: Brascote Pits are filling with silt, the embankment at Croft Quarry is becoming overgrown and I'm struggling to get good views of the gulls at Shawell. On the plus side, the pair of Garganey and the two Ring Ouzels at Brascote were great local birds, so all is not lost. 

Even my trusty gulls have been letting me down lately and making it hard work to see them. However, I managed to sneak up on a group of gulls last weekend in the quarry at Cotesbach and amongst them was a Norwegian ringed Great Black-backed Gull and also a Lesser Black-backed Gull that was also ringed in Norway.

The pools in the quarry are an excellent place to see the gulls up close, but the point where I used to stand has been dug away. The quarry is strictly private and is not accessible without permission.

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