Lots of bird activity today.
21st July 2011: This morning, at the south end of Hoo Wood, I counted six green woodpeckers, four magpies and a buzzard mewing overhead. It was quite a spectacle with the magpies and woodpeckers screaming at each other and flying around in circles – they looked like a loose ball of birds. Whether this behaviour had anything to do with the buzzard circling above, I have no idea. Apparently oblivious to my presence, the magpies and woodpeckers eventually peeled off and zoomed down to the marsh, and the buzzard flew off in the opposite direction. I saw similar behaviour, although without a buzzard being present, on the marsh this evening.
From my favourite Hoo Wood vantage point I looked down on the marsh. I watched a Labrador chase a muntjac deer at full pelt across the lagoon field; I could hear its owner whistling from the swamp. The dog ran very close to, if not over, a curlew ground nest, with two chicks in it – such is life, I suppose!
There are many fledglings and other young animals around now. Small immature squirrels are falling from tree branches. I have come across juvenile rabbits standing to attention on their back legs, staring at me, but not moving until I am all but on top of them. I have almost tripped over fledglings sitting about aimlessly on the ground, not seeming to care that I am might stamp on them; whether they were just having a rest, or whether they were the weaker chicks that are destined to be predated, I am not sure. The young herons are everywhere, too; I see them flying past my windows at home and perched on the roofs of houses close to the marsh.