Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Quiet Quarter

Our arrival at the lower Vicars Hill Gate on 30 September was greeted by a faint seep-seep-seep sound from the trees which turned out to be a group of about six Long-tailed Tits scavenging for food. Other than that, our monthly bird survey was another low-key affair and confirmed that July-Sept is the 'quiet quarter' of the birding year on Hilly Fields.

Long-tailed Tit
The bird glimpsed most clearly in flight was a Jay which, as per last month, flew from the direction of the Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries to nab another acorn from the oak tree at the top of the south field. Luckily, this tree has enough acorns left on its branches to feed many more squirrels and birds.

Acorns on oak tree
A Wren was briefly heard singing and a Chiffchaff. The latter was probably preparing for its annual migration back to the Med or West Africa. Apart from the bold Crows and Magpies which strutted in the open spaces, most of the other birds maintained a low profile like the blackbird below, glimpsed in hawthorn foliage on Upper Eastern Road.

Blackbird playing peep-o
Hopefully, by the end of next month, the Gulls and Starlings will have returned from wherever they spend their summer to swell the numbers. Species seen or heard this month: 7 Robins, 7 Woodpigeons, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 5 Magpies, 3 Crows, 2 each of Blackbird, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Ring-necked Parakeets, 1  each of Wren, House Sparrow, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Jay and Feral Pigeon.

After a skirmish which ruffled its feathers, this Crow was King of the Bin


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