Sunday, 27 June 2010

A June evening on the Downs

It's nearly July and I realise that I'd still not been up to the downs. It's one of my favourite locations and very beautiful, especially at this time of year so I always try to go at least once in the summer. In addition there were a few birds that I needed for the county year list which I'd only really find up there including quail, though by all accounts it was a very poor year for this species. Accordingly I went up there on Saturday in the company of Tom Wickens. There was nothing particularly out of the ordinary that we saw but I just love the atmosphere: it's so quiet that you can hear for miles. We stayed out to watch the full moon rise which was breathtaking. As well as the usual downland birds that one might expect we heard a distant tawny owl calling. As far as the quail were concerned we both heard one calling though very distantly. It's a good thing I'm accepting "heard only" on my lists this year: it makes it all so much easier!

It's always hard to do the Downs justice with a photo: the colours of the fields in the setting sun were wonderful

I always try to photograph the yellow hammers and corn buntings whilst up on the downs. This one posed conveniently close by and "downstream" of the sun...

...whereas this corn bunting was "upstream" and at dusk so I had to go up to ISO 1600.

It was an amazing harvest moon this evening (or can you only really get those at harvest time?)

The moon actually rises really quickly: I took some digiscoped video of it.

A few more ticks to tally up.

Oxon Year List 2010
141 corn bunting 26/06 Churn
142 tawny owl 26/06 Churn
143 quail 26/06 Churn
144 grey partridge 26/06 Churn

National Year List 2010
184 quail 26/06 Churn

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