Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Chilterns

Speen, Chilterns - hot, dry and sunny - Spent the weekend staying with friends in the Chilterns village of Speen during which time we had a good look around the surrounding countryside. At first sight the habitat of wooded valleys and low level grazing land looked to be pretty good for birds, but actually was species poor. Introduced Red Kites were almost constantly in view with one hillside attracting 13 birds (what they all find to feed on is a mystery to me, probably being artificially fed) along with several Common Buzzards. A few pairs of Yellowhammers, Linnets and Skylarks were noted but I could find no evidence of birds such as Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Cuckoo, Turtle Dove or Mipit in what appeared to be suitable terrain.
The woodlands were not much better as most were overgrown with no sign of any management and were full of Grey Squirrels and Muntjacs. Did find a family party of Marsh Tits and a Tawny Owl though. Nonetheless, an interesting weekend of birding in great company.

                                         Red Kite & Alpacas, Speen

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