Sunday, April 4, 2010

Check It Out

It was a “Where Do I Go?” this morning with another cold, brisk north westerly wind blowing. So I headed inland for Rawcliffe Moss where although I might be a little windswept I would find some birds. I also planned to check the vegetation in the mist nets rides, mainly the growth of leaf cover that helps to make the nets invisible when we eventually get there on a kind-to-ringers, flat morning.

I was early enough to find a Barn Owl hunting the rough edges and ditch that mark the field boundary, and although the light wasn’t fantastic, I did get a few photographs today, with 3 Roe Deer performing a backdrop.

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Roe Deer

Top Of The Windy Moss

On top of the blustery moss there weren’t many birds, the corvids in the stubble, a wandering Kestrel, a couple of Lapwing pairs and in the plantation, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch, Wren and a couple of Blackbirds, all highly visible in the sparse foliage. The net rides were pretty bare, little ground cover, no leaf on the trees, catkins only with the remains of last autumn’s vegetation available to provide a few hiding spots for the Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Sedge Warblers that arrive very soon.

What Leaves?

Chaffinch

Reed Bunting

I walked back towards the farm buildings in the course of which I found 3 pairs of Grey Partridge, 4 Curlew, 2 Buzzard, another Kestrel and 1 pair each of Oystercatcher and Lapwing in the field that they both nested in last year.

Buzzard

6
Lapwing

Up at the top I hadn’t heard a singing Corn Bunting or Yellowhammer, so I wasn’t surprised when I found a flock of 28 Corn Buntings still hanging about near the farmer’s old spill, likewise the 4 Yellowhammer that came for a look. Neither party was too keen on posing up for me this morning; the blustery wind didn’t help as old buildings, rusted, discarded equipment and abandoned plastic rattled in harmony to spook the birds feeding efforts. The buntings seemed content to sit it out in the hedge until things looked and sounded less dangerous.

Corn Buntings

Corn Bunting

Back home where I complained about the lack of Greenfinch all winter, a pair has almost built a nest in a blowy, thin juniper just two metres from the back door. And I thought birds were clever, but I suppose I have only to look through the kitchen window to check on progress and keep that nest record up to date.

Greenfinch


24 comments:

The Early Birder said...

Hi Phil. Nice to be greeted by the Barn Owl. Good to see the Corn Buntings; a rarity around here. FAB.

kirstallcreatures said...

Really lovely pics of the Barn Owls. Linda

Russell said...

Sounds like a pretty good bird outing to me. I'd love to see a Barn Owl in action in daylight. Your photos are brilliant.

Larry said...

Nice shots of the Barn Owl Phil. They sure are amazing and efficient raptors. The Reed Bunting and Lapwing are really beautiful and the detail in that close-up of the Greenfinch makes me feel like I am holding it in my hand!

eileeninmd said...

Love the Barn Owl shots, they are just awesome! I enjoyed all your photos, the Lapwing is a cool looking bird.

madibirder said...

Did an excellent job to freeze the motion of the Barn Owl.

forestal said...

Great shots of some nice looking birds.

dan

Brian Rafferty said...

Phil. Like the barn owl and roe deer shots from Rawcliffe Moss.Another interesting session for you with plenty of variety. Sounds like it may warm up and settle down after Easter..Let's hope so.

Johnny Nutcase said...

Tons of great birds and photos - the corn bunting is my favorite! and great flight shot with the owl!

Greyscale Territory said...

Stunning collection of bird life! I love the colours of the lapwing and the greenfinch has a delightful look of surprise on his face!

Stu said...

Nice Barn Owls, you wouldn't believe how rare Owls are here in Japan!

Lana Gramlich said...

Great action captures on the barn owl!

Unravel said...

Very nice to see a Barn Owl!
Back in Thailand, the bird is common but I've never seen any during daytime. The Corn Buntings also look very nice!

NicoleB said...

I am totally at awe.
Love the shots & that Lapwing really is a Beauty!
That Barn owl in flight is precious.
I was stunned on Friday and am still trying to bite my butt, when I missed an owl flying by on the golf course right in front of me. I was so stunned, that I could only stare *sigh*.
Cheers from South Sinai :)

Wren said...

Great birdy day, and lovely collection of photos. I, too, love the barn owls, but want also to note the fabulous detail in the greenfinch photo. You can see the individual feathers!

mick said...

Great to see the Owl first thing - and how nice to have the Greenfinch nesting so close. A very nice series of photos.

Amy said...

Really nice shots, sounds like a great day. And WOW, well done on the Barn Owl pics!

Kelly said...

Absolutely love the barn owl photos and the chaffinch. I would love to see a Barn Owl swooping across a field... Sounds like a great day out.

Neil said...

Great series of photos interesting Lapwing.

Valerie said...

Fabulous photos! Just lovely to look at and see.

Idaho Birder said...

I love the new Kestrel header!

gwendolen said...

Wow, so many different bird photos. Great sightings. I love the Barn owl shots. Gorgeous!

BirdingMaine said...

WOW, you have some cool birds! Excellent photos!

Halcyon said...

Wow! You have a lot of beauties!!

I've never seen an owl in the wild. Only in the zoo. It must be impressive.

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