Sunday, March 14, 2010

Top Of The Moss

I grabbed a couple of hours birding this morning at Rawcliffe Moss before the family visited us with gifts for Sue on Mother’s Day. Glad I went out earlier because although the wind blew a fresh north westerly that made it feel pretty cold, I saw a nice selection of birds and had the place to myself.

First stop was the ivy clad trees at the Rawcliffe end of the road where I had seen Stock Doves a couple of times recently around a likely looking cavity, and there they were again, mating out in the open on a handy branch. So that goes down in Birdtrack as a positive and I really must load my ladder on in a few weeks time to check them out properly. I think I only ever ringed one or two Stock Dove previously. Further down the lane I imagined the Little Owl wouldn’t be sat out in the open in such a breeze, and I was right as it sat only partly visible, huddled up in the lee of the ivy. Just as well I took plenty of pictures during the frosty spells when it obligingly sat away from the ivy.

Little Owl

Towards the winter feeding track a Kestrel perched on the overhead wires but flew off as I approached which caused a single Snipe to flush from a muddy patch of ground. It’s getting a bit late for Snipe now but of course they are just as liable to be migrants as other species we see in March. In the fields alongside the road I counted 5 Roe Deer and at least 6 Brown Hares doing a little of their mad March thing but not quite at full pelt. At the track I walked out towards the big field via the Pheasant feeder where the Yellowhammers hang out, and there were still 5 around as well as a couple of Chaffinch plus the usual Blue Tits and 2 Reed Buntings. After brief snatches of song last week I haven’t heard much of the Yellowhammer's song “Little Bit of Bread and No Cheese”, but I hope it won’t be long before I do.

Kestrel

Kestrel

Snipe

Yellowhammer

There were still 8/10 Tree Sparrows along the hedge hanging out for free grub but they really need to get on with claiming a nest box soon as many have done, because when I walked through the wood and then along the “97” hedge their chippy calls near boxes betrayed breeding plans. Further up the hedge I found a flock of 18 Linnet, a group of 5 Goldfinch and a 2 more Reed Buntings in the area they nested last year. Then when I rejoined the main track 2 Corn Buntings sat together on a spindly bush, one singing. Also up here on top of the moss, 2 pairs of Grey Partridge, 2 Buzzard, a second Kestrel, an incoming Shelduck, more singing Chaffinch, an overflying Pied Wagtail, a Great-spotted Woodpecker in the fir copse and at least 40 Woodpigeon crashing noisily from the trees.

Corn Bunting

Buzzard

I’d had a good couple of hours and there’s nothing quite like quitting when your ahead. Even better to see all the family together later in the day.

9 comments:

nonizamboni said...

Amazing photos! And how nice to see birds I'm not accustomed to over here. . .I didn't know what a Yellowhammer looked like. Very nicely done!

Oskar said...

Beautiful pictures!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

WONDERFUL bird photos, your header photograph is stunning!

S.C.E. said...

Great pic of the Snipe.

I haven't seen a Yellowhammer for many many years, they were always a little scarce south of the Ribble where I used to live......

Rid said...

Cracking little owl image.

Unravel said...

Lots of birds around your area as usual.
I'm still willing to get photos of a Kestrel in that close range!

Brian Rafferty said...

Phil. A very nice selection from the Mosslands.Cracking images of the snipe and yellowhammer.

Codders said...

Phil, just found your blog and when it opened up the header pic just gripped me by the youknowwhats. Great pics throughout

HowdonBlogger

gwendolen said...

Your photos are very good. I'm also in awe of your header photo. What a beauty!
Love the little owl in this series.

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