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Wordle: Words from the Brampton village nature Blog

Cuckoo progress

May 30, 2011

The Cuckoo called as flew from the Common to the village. It was closely shadowed by a Kestrel. The Cuckoo’s hawk-like flight was weak in comparison to the purposeful mastery of the Kestrel.

It seems that the Cuckoo is extending it’s range becoming the core territory along the reed beds of the Bure. Presumably she is in search of further nests as hosts for her progeny; perhaps the supply of Reed Warbler nests has been used up. Whatever the purpose, she does not hand around for long – her call marking her progress; one or two calls in each location and then move on. This could be reconnaissance prior to a raid on a newly located nest.

War wound

May 28, 2011

This week the young Roe Buck carefully escorts a single doe. He is paying her constant attention; this is especially apparent because it allows us to approach to within yards before they start to sidle back towards the wood. The buck is carrying a war wound – presumably from a competitive joust with his older rival – a triangle of flesh on his left flank looks raw and fresh. This does not appear to have curbed his enthusiasm.

Roe doe in May

May 21, 2011

It helps to have the breeze in your face. Particularly when walking up to the deer. The group seems to have dispersed around its usual stamping ground. Encounters with them this week have been when they graze quietly on their own or with one other. A heavily pregnant Roe doe sticks to the woodland edges unless she cannot catch your scent early enough.

Wednesday morning was typical. The Whippets were not proceeding quietly, but the Doe did not really take any particular notice. A casual glance in our direction was all we got. Seemingly unfazed she made her dignified away along the edge of the barley towards the wood, stopping from time to graze.

Her colouring is distinctive.  A body of grey brown with light fox red points on the face, particularly around her eyes and on her front legs below the knee. As with all Roe Deer the base of her tail being surrounded by a contrasting white splash and the hint of a white moustache on the lower jaw.

Hunting Sparrows

May 14, 2011

The Sparrowhawk and I almost collided opposite the Village Hall. He was intent on his prey and I was walking along the Street in a minding-my-own-business sort of way. The flight path of a hunting Sparrowhawk is a contour hugging race which is based upon hit and run instincts. This time he failed, after narrowly missing me and he disappeared with equal pace through the Bowery garden. I say he because it was clearly a tiercel – the male is much smaller than the female – and is more likely to be after the village Sparrows than his mate.

Yesterday evening I spotted a pair of Sparrowhawks emerging and soaring out of the Keeper’s Wood in a sort of nuptial display – perhaps I met one of the pair again this morning.

Swifts return

May 14, 2011

Yesterday’s (6th May) return of Swifts to the parish was a welcome sight. No sooner had they returned than they had started to re-colonise their traditional nest sites. These sites tend to be the cottages and houses in the village which have not had their roofing “improved”. The improvement tends to remove access points and the nesting site is lost to the birds.

I counted the newly arrived Lower Brampton flock as being made up of six birds – they scream around the houses in the early evening their own form of joy-riding.

The two of us and Dr Christie looked on as a courtship flight of two Cuckoos drifted over the Long Meadow to the Poplars near Burgh church and back again. Both birds seemed to relish the uplifting power of the wind which helped to make their relatively weak flight into an aerial display.

One closely followed the other. A degree of mimicry was involved in the flight pattern. From time to time one of the pair fanned it’s tail and stretched forward to call at which point there was a slight pause before it continued it’s trail. Both Cuckoos maintained their height which was at or around the level of the topmost branches of the Poplar. We left them to it – it seemed that the display would continue all morning, but all the same we felt very privileged to have seen it.