Lockdown Diary: Sunday 19.4.20

Sunday was a different proposition weather-wise than Saturday, an altogether sunnier, warmer day. I decided to take a different route, cycling from home with my son Eddie, and heading towards where the Bird Watching office used to be, in Bretton, Peter...

Sunday was a different proposition weather-wise than Saturday, an altogether sunnier, warmer day. I decided to take a different route, cycling from home with my son Eddie, and heading towards where the Bird Watching office used to be, in Bretton, Peterborough. We took a track which heads out over the northern part of Milton Park towards the village of Marholm. There is a particular field of very short-cropped grass and plenty of big anthills and large oak trees, which is traditionally great for Green Woodpeckers. I have always fancied it as a Ring Ouzel site, but had never seen one there, despite years of trying!
I scanned the whole field and picked up a brownish looking blackbird-like bird. But with a pale patch on its breast: female Ring Ouzel! It was feeding right at the back of the field, alongside a couple of Mistle Thrushes, a few Black birds and even a late Redwing. Ring Ouzel is a very scarce passage bird through the Peterborough area, and one which I have only seen in the Spring (never in the autumn). So, it was a relief as well as a pleasure to find one. I measured the distance, as the ouzel flies, from out house, and it just gets within a 2-mile radius; like in David Chandler’s My2Mile challenge, the closest one I have ever had to my home.
Other highlights from our cycle ride were hearing my first Nightingales of the year, watching a pair of Peregrines ‘doing battle’ in mid-air, and seeing one of the Ferry Meadows Black Terns still in place. We also saw a hunting Weasel, which Eddie claims is his first ever! And we saw some pretty butterflies including my favourite, the Orange-tip.
Of course, my mood was not exactly lifted by news that one of my friends had had a White-tailed Eagle flying over his house in northern Peterborough. And it was not one of the satellite-tracked introduced birds!