Piles of topsoil have been deposited at this end of the field and the first footings are in for the new homes. I wonder how long it will take to build them?
I've heard some lapwing voices at night, and seen a small flock of 20-30 flying over, but not seen any in the fields as I have on previous years, even when it goes quiet on the weekends. The cats dislike the disturbance and don't stay out for long while there's work going on. I find it stressful too, and I know what's going on.
There are some visitors who don't mind at all. On Friday, I counted around 100 black-headed gulls taking advantage of the disturbed soil on the building-site field, with another 30 to 40 in a nearby field (where the horses are and where I would normally see the lapwings). Scanning through the gulls sitting in the field, I could see about a dozen herring gulls, their larger bodies punctuating the drift of black-headed gulls. The black-headed gulls on the building site seem fearless, pattering around in the furrows left by the dumpers and only flapping out of their way at the last minute. The only bird to join the black-headed gulls around the working machinery was a pied wagtail. Even the robins, normally so bold and ready to take advantage of freshly turned soil, were nowhere to be seen.
|Men and birds at work|
The herring gulls prefer to wait until all is quiet on the building site, before they go to see what they can find. On the field in between, a few starlings, rooks and pairs of jackdaws pecked around in the grass.
Yesterday was a Saturday. No building work. Freezing cold with frequent icy showers on the northerly wind, the only bird I could see was Mr Blackbird sitting in the lilac. A glance out of the window just now showed several herring gulls, rooks, jackdaws and starlings on the fields, while a red kite wandered through the air above. Movement on the grass at the edges of the topsoil heaps caught my eye, and I saw three redwings pecking around - the first winter thrushes I've seen which haven't just flown over!
The clay soil doesn't drain well, and there's a scatter of puddles across the site, which the birds use for drinking water and baths. It's good to know that someone is benefiting from the noisy mess, however temporarily.