My usual dog walk takes me along what is essentially a farm drainage ditch (sounds really picturesque, doesn’t it?) and into a local woodland known as Rampton Spinney. However, that drainage ditch, The Cottenham Lode, takes runoff from a vast area of farmland and ultimately follows managed watercourses and spills into The Wash and so is rather important and isn’t quite as municipal as it sounds.
The area supports no small number of birds. Sighted along there and in the woodland in recent weeks and reported by yours truly in these pages on occasion:
Grey Heron, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Mute Swan, Mallard, Moorhen, Magpie, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Eurasian Jay, Magpie, Tits (Great, Blue, Long-tailed), Buzzard (Buteo buteo, pictured above), Peregrine, Kestrel, Red Kite, Wood Pigeon, Goldcrest (Regulus regulus, picture immediately below), Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris, below the Goldcrest), Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Fieldfare, Redwing.
I’m sure there are a few more but that’s the birdlife I recall from the last few winter weeks of walks there. Many of those species, I see every time I walk the Lode and Rampton Spinney. Some not so often. And, of course, summer is a different matter altogether.
Oh, and on today’s walk, overhead, a female Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus, pictured below)