bird behaviour

Farmland birds at Dutch House, Crayke- dawn bird walk

I led about twenty people on a dawn walk on the Crayke Estate starting at 5.30am. The temperature was 4C when we started with a fair windchill, but as we walked the sun rose and quickly warmed the air. The object to hear and identify birds breeding on the estate. This farmland is managed with wildlife in mind and this morning it showed. Soon after we set off a Barn Owl was seen flying along a hedge line. We observed at least four singing Whitethroats in the hedges. There were other summer migrants in the form of Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler all singing from the hedges bordering the Oil Seed Rape fields round which we walked. Other farmland birds which nationally have been in sharp decline were also observed. We saw Linnets, Tree Sparrows, Stock Doves and Skylarks, and after the walk as I drove home a Grey Partridge within the estate boundary. We also heard a Cuckoo, saw a flyover Cormorant. At the end of the walk the Dutch House at Crayke provided us with the most delicious fried breakfast, coffee and tea in their excellent restaurant on this day which celebrates their first anniversary. The Dutch House at Crakye has successfully combined running courses in the arts with nature conservation and their efforts should be applauded. The walk coincides with my exhibition of recent paintings which continues until 22nd May- see exhibition tab for details and link.

Whitethroats male(top, middle), female(lower)- watercolour

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