Nature Notes – March 2024

by Andy Johnston

Walking up Fence Dyke Lane recently, I noticed a huge flock of fieldfares feeding when suddenly a large female sparrow hawk made an attack and killed one. While it was plucking off the feathers a male sparrow hawk made an approach but was quickly chased off. While this took place a buzzard snaffled the fieldfare and began to feed. Unbeknown to the buzzard yet another buzzard was making a low-level attack, and on arrival bowled it over, claiming the corpse.

BuzzardFieldfareBuzzards are very common around the village and can be seen swooping and spiralling, especially at this time of the year as they establish their breeding territories. They can vary in colour enormously from dark brown to almost white. Currently we have at least three which are particularly pale, possibly the progeny of an almost white one that lived in the area about five years ago.

Sightings – Derek and Carol have a hedgehog in their garden and regular visits from a pheasant. Lapwings are returning to breeding sites around the village. Blackbirds have now joined the song thrushes in the dawn and evening choruses.

Those of you who live adjacent to our two village rookeries will be getting an ever earlier morning ‘caw’ as the rooks have started building!