Sunday, 14 February 2021

Balscote Quarry & Farnborough CP :: 13/14 February 2021

It had been a very cold week with flurries of snow. The temperature on Saturday morning wasn't any higher at -4°C and said to be -10°C, accounting for wind-chill factor. Regardless I set off after an early breakfast to see if I could connect with the brambling at Balscote Quarry - recently I've not been early enough, or had decent light.

After a wait of about 10-15mins two brambling showed, both female. Yellowhammer, reed bunting and a host of finches fed around the feeding stations. A little while later a male appeared and spent some time in the bushes and on the ground, ocassionally disappearting for 10mins at a time.





Looking out across the bowl from the viewing area I spotted a muntjac deer feeding and then a green woodpecker in a tree - an odd view as I'm used to them being on the ground, on a post ot on substantial branches - it was perched on rather insubstantial twigs.


Green woodpecker

I took a few more photos of the brambling as two snipe flew over, followed by redwing and fieldfare. A rather attractive female reed bunting paused on a branch allowing a clear view.

Reed bunting

Just before I headed off for a walk three red-legged partridge appeared - amazing patterns on the neck and breast. My feet were blocks of ice and the walk wasn't as far as I'd planned!

Red-legged partridge

Red-legged partridge

Sunday arrived and as it was Valentine's Day I didn't head out so early. The weather was cold but above freezing - a bit more wind though. I opted to visit Farnborough CP for a bit of a walk and found much of the lake water frozen. Nothing much of interest around on my first circuit until I passed the car park - there were 12 siskin briefly feeding in the treetops, but not for long. A muntjac deer fed on the verge of the road.

On the opposite bank I came across a very showy treecreeper that didn't seem to worry about how close it got, at one point being within the focal range of my lens!


A nuthatch called in the canopy above and I just caught sight of it as it left - damn. A red kite and three buzzard were being constantly mobbed by crows.

It was getting towrds lunchtime and I was thinking that it might not be too long before the rain that was forecast would arrive. I jumped in the car but stopped briefly as I left the car park to snal a buzzard sitting on the low branches of a tree on my right. Before I made it back to the main road the rain started. As I entered and passed through Banbury it was clear it had been raining there for some time.

Common buzzard

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