Taking advantage of beautiful blue skies this morning, Team Sausage made a brief but happy two hour visit to Cranford Park. Signs that spring is not far away were everywhere. Snowdrops appearing in the woods, Great Tits, Wrens and Robins all very visible establishing territory and looking for mates.
Green Woodpeckers could be heard laughing within the woodland, and we had two close encounters with Great Spotted Woodpeckers. One drumming in front of us, another weaving between the trees at head height in a red white and black flash at whilst we were trying to get a clean shot of a Goldcrest.
Highlight of the day by some distance though were a pair of Stonechats. It was Mrs Sausage who spotted them first in the scrub in front of the headland. We then spent the best part of an hour tracking these very mobile, skittish birds to and fro. With conditions breezy to say the least and the birds refusing to post for too long most of my pics were at a distance but they will suffice as record shots.
It’s a very promising sighting and to have a male and female at Cranford we can only hope they consider settling in for a brood or two this spring. Wendy crossed our path as we were Stonechat hunting and told us that she had seen Skylarks displaying. You can read her excellent blog here.
We also had two Buzzards over the headland area, strangely ignored by the Crows and Jackdaws this time. A Red Kite was less fortunate as it circled over a corner of the woodland and was soon chased off by the corvid crew. As Wendy left us, we had a flight of Meadow Pipits appear. There were a good half dozen or so of these small brown birds. While most went straight into the cover of the scrub, two were happy to attach themselves to a bare branch for a few moments
Despite not being a stellar day for photos, the species count for the day was a healthy 20. Not bad for just two hours at Cranford!