Marston for couple of hours

Well it was sunday morning and my good lady was prepping the sunday dinner, it was not raining so what should I do? Yes you guessed off to local patch Marston to see if I could see the Stonechats good old Dave R told me about while in Cyprus last week , thanks again Dave and apologies for the text probably costing you £3 🙂

Got to the patch and enjoyed being back as it had been a few weeks since I had called in. Walking down Viking Way making my way to the ‘Stonechat spot’ I enjoyed the clicking and calling Robins and Wrens but not the dam flies that were still in this area.

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The track is absolutely sodden where Viking Way meets the track going across the site to Mill Lane.

I got my tripod and camera set up here, scanned the reed beds and  waited  for a Stonechat sighting  I saw various sized Starling murmurations with about 100 birds being the biggest.

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A nosey Dunnock came lose to check me out and then disappeared into the thick vegitation.

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Then the Stonechat action began with a distant sighting of a female bird, she posed nice and typically high on the reeds even in the gusty high wind, shame it was a little way off.

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This bird flitted around sometimes calling in close then flying up to try to get flies etc. I tried to get an ariel photo but the light was rather gloomy and more importantly I was not fast enough! Below is the best photo I managed.

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I had the male in my sights at last, this time it was about 12 feet away, great you may say but it was in the tree I was standing next to and I could not get a clear shot of it due to the branches, bugger!

Then overhead a group of about 10 birds came into view now at first I thought ‘Fieldfare’ judging by their size and flight pattern but nope I was incorrect (again!) they turned out to be Mistle Thrushes, I got a pic of sorts of the last bird in the group to ID them.

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Soon after this I heard the unmistakable sound of Curlew’s more than one too! I counted 18 that flew from the Marston village direction towards the works end of the site.

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Then the female Stonechat came a little closer and I managed a couple of pleasing photo’s possibly my best ones yet of the female of this delightful species.

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I kept looking for the male but he was not showing as well and often as the female but then a long way off I saw him flying also catching flying insects and I caught him landing on a reed with a beetle? in his beak that was soon devoured.

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The male stayed on this single reed for about 10 minutes then flew off and down into the reed bed swiftly appearing again with more food.

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The pair of birds did not show again for about 10 minutes and so off I went back to my car, along the way two Mute Swans flew in to eventually land near the horse paddock.

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I hope the Stonechats stay a while wonderful birds these eh?