Sunday, November 28, 2010

Valley of the River Thame near Starveall Farm - Buckinghamshire

I enjoyed a short walk before lunch down into the valley of the River Thame near Starveall Farm (http://cwr.naturalengland.org.uk/Default.aspx?Module=CountryWalkDetails&Site=3570). The temperature at the start was -5°C rising to about 0°C by the time I returned to the car. However, the cloud was thin and the sun was out! It seemed to be much colder in the bottom of the valley.

The following were of note.

Birds:

24 species were seen and/or heard and recorded in BirdTrack (http://www.bto.org/birdtrack/). Of main interest were the large numbers of Thrushes; particularly the abundant Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) and, to a much lesser extent, Blackbird (Turdus merula). Added to those were small numbers of Redwing (Turdus iliacus), Song thrush (Turdus philomelos) and Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus). All these birds were primarily foraging under the hedges and tree lines.

Also notable were Snipe (Gallinago gallinago). One was disturbed, typically, from the river; however, 6 more were found feeding in one of the riverside meadows. This is the largest number of Snipe seen by me at this site.

Finally, a couple of Woodpigeon kills were found; only feathers seen with no carcass evident. See the following photograph.


Mammals:

Some Fresh Mole (Talpa europaea) activity noted, plus 2 Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and a sickly Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

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