Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 30 November 2010 16:19
I have finished the November visits of the winter farmland bird survey! The Downs were looking pretty amazing this morning and the birds were good too on this the most easterly of the farms. Large flocks of Linnets, Corn Buntings and Skylarks as well as 12 Reed Buntings, 4 Lapwings, 6 Snipe, a Brambling, yet another Merlin and a Mediterranean Gull. Med Gulls are my favourite birds, awesome to see a winter adult flying against the snow. No hare this time but I did see a Crow and Magpie chasing a Stoat. Lapwings seem to behave quite strangely in this kind of weather, they seem to move around a lot and then turn up in strange places. When I was driving back, I was just thinking how I found one on a playing field in a blizzard when I was a kid and it was really tame when suddenly there was one sitting on the grass on a traffic island in the middle of Newhaven!
There were even some arable plants still in leaf, being Dwarf Spurge, Small Toadflax and Sharp-leaved Fluellen suggesting this farm might be a good place to look for arable plants in the summer. I also saw some awesome scarecrows (this one appears to be playing football - he's obviously better at that than frightening birds!) although the one that was face down in a ditch did freak me out a little at first.