Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spring is kicking off!

Out for a bit of a stroll across the fields from our house this morning. We were struck by how much spring action has sprung into action! First we have four Brown Hares Lepus europaeus outside the front of the house. They have been there for four days now and the action appears to be hotting-up. We think that there are two females and two males, with one of the males being a bit of an outsider. He sits away from the other three, is regularly chased by one of the others and is clearly not tolerated by, what we think, is the other male. There have been incidents of all three chasing this individual, turning the field into a bit of a race-track. Pretty soon, all being well, it should turn into a boxing-ring. If anyone can throw any light on this behaviour it would be appreciated.
The shots below show the unwanted individual being chased and harassed by the other three. The first picture is of him/her having it away on his toes!

The chase is on...a three to one, uneven competition.

Yellowhammers Emberiza citrinella seemed to be everywhere which is good news as we know that these birds are in decline along with a number of other farmland species. Along a stretch of farmland hedgerow measuring less than a couple of kilometres we counted over fifteen singing male birds. Unfortunately getting a decent photograph proved tricky as the camera's autofocus system was determined to focus on twigs.

As well as singing yellowhammers other species in full song included Robins, Dunnocks, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Song Thrush and Wrens. I heard my first singing Skylarks and I was able to pop off a shot of a distant aerial bird.

Pretty ropey pictures indeed, but better than the picture of a Peregrine Falcon that was surveying the fields from a pylon!

Spot the Peregrine!

This Dunnock  Prunella modularis proved to be more accommodating as did the Red-legged Partridges. Grey Partridges, of which we saw five, were much more flighty.


  1. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to see a solitary hare in the countryside outside of town, but never 4! Wonderful action shots.

    1. Thank you Simon. I'm lucky in that they are outside the front of my house.