I was musing today whilst driving my 2o miles into work. It's amazing how many birds can be seen on the move. Today, in the lull between the rain the weather was mild, no wind and sunny, so wildlife made the most of the fine weather. I never lose the thrill of seeing birds after bad weather flying in flocks almost in joy at being dry at last, or busy preening and feeding again. And spring is definitely in the air, a lot of pairing going on.
My heart may still be in Northumberland, but I'm so pleased I live in Somerset/Dorset, as it is a wonderful place for wildlife. Somerset particularly has just about every type of habitat available in the UK, from Exmoor, to the Levels, mudflats and coastal estuaries, to the rich grasslands, to arable, and many woods and hidden valleys and combes. And then in Dorset, I have the proper coast, rather than the Bristol Channel, and huge arable fields on the Chalk Downs, and the huge Poole Harbour.
My usual 20 mile drive begins in single track lanes with high hedges through dairy farms, then a main road through more farmland and small villages, finally driving through ancient woods, then over the Bristol Gorge, and parking in Clifton, with its old gardens and large trees.
Today, without really making a special note I guess I saw 15 species, all the flooded fields were packed with Corvids and Gulls, Magpies especially were active. Collard Dove, Wood Pigeon were plentiful too. In Clifton, Great and Blue Tits singing everywhere, as well as Robin, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Starling and a Goldcrest too. A nice way to while away 30 minutes in the car
And finally, speaking about wildlife on the move, this Blue Jay was sent to me by my Cousin in Canada feeding at their "Winter Lodge" - a stunning bird, I'm jealous.