Just worth mentioning that the blackcock don’t seem to have moved away yet as they did last year in late September. My favourite cock bird was spotted this afternoon in one of his favourite spots on the cattle bucht where he can keep tabs on the hayfield and all the goings on therein. His tail has grown back in spectacular fashion, and although it looks a little tatty in this picture, it is certainly a marked improvement on his appearance in late August. He has also lost the white feather on his neck and the white eyeliner on the lower lid of each eye – both of which are associated with moulting.
At risk of being vulgar, he produced two outstanding jobbies on the top rail of the cattle bucht before he flew away, and I have gathered both of them up for an in depth analysis. Birds which feed on roughage produce an incredible quantity of jobby, and I hope that once these samples are dry and dissected, they will reveal some identifiable evidence (in the form of seeds or pips) to show what he is feeding on at this time of year.