Autumn Wildlife Walk Round Honingham – with Jerry Bart
It was a beautiful cold but bright Sunday morning and I decided to go for a birding walk from our house up Mill Lane and through the woods to Berry Lane. I had already seen a Little Egret from our kitchen window in the Tud so felt confident of a fruitful walk.
I am sure many of you dog walkers know this route well.
The first people I see are a couple walking back from Susan Grants house with two jars of her wonderful jam. Stopping just opposite the old pig sheds saw my first birds. Blackbird, Wood Pigeon and Blue Tit. Was just about to move on when I saw another bird fly away towards the giant poplars. I saw a white rump and thought …maybe a Bull Finch or possibly the very rare Brambling. I didn’t count it as wasn’t sure.
Moving through the woods the leaves were mostly blown down and I was able to see Natasha’s eco-house through the trees. I went off the path hoping to scare a wintering Woodcock into the air. Unfortunately no luck.
Walking on Chaffinch and Great Tits appeared in the canopy. I scanned them closely looking for a Brambling or even a Redpoll. No luck until I nearly got to Berry Lane. From the field on the left up popped a Chaffinch. Then I took a second look and thought…that’s a bit different. I tried to double checking through the bins and as usual it flew off just as I was focusing. However I saw the white rump. Now 80% sure it was my dream winter bird. Once in Berry Lane I saw a pheasant, a flock of long tailed tits and then an unexpected bird. Willow Tit high in the canopy. Definitely a good day so far I thought. Then I caught some movement high up and hoped this was the bird I was really after. Then yes..a beautiful male Brambling and realised the one I saw before must have be a female which is a bit duller than the male. Then I saw 4 more feeding on the seeds high in the trees. This was only the second time I had seen this bird in Honingham. The last time was 2010 in that very cold winter when Julie and I first moved here.
Feeling well pleased I moved on to the bridge hoping for a Kingfisher or a Grey Wagtail. No such luck but Jackdaw and a Carrion Crow flew over adding to my list. Turning into the field back to the village came Robin, Wren and more Blue Tits. Scanning high I hoped for a Red Kite. But no.
Passing Anthony’s plantation two flashing white rumped birds flew into the bushes. First Bull Finches of the day then a Wren and Hedge Sparrow (Dunnock).
Almost at The Buck and I scanned the field for Red Legged Partridge. No joy. Strolling back to the Old Mill I saw House Sparrow and Starlings. Stopping at the bridge I crept up over the wall hoping for that elusive Kingfisher. Now that would have capped off a great walk. It was however not to be.
That’s what I find so wonderful about bird spotting. You never know what will turn up and often the ones you expect to be around seem to disappear.
All in all a great hours walk.
When you are strolling around our wonderful village why not take some binoculars with you. You will be surprised what you may see. If you see anything different and are not sure what it may be just email me the description and I will try and help identify it for you.
Jerry Bart – The Old Mill Honingham