Saturday, June 5, 2010

Six Of The Best

Mist netting is a little quiet at the moment whilst birds sit tight brooding eggs or young and the males stay on their territory without straying through new parts of the ringing site where the nets might catch them. But there is nest checking and ringing of the nestlings to follow up and that’s what I did this morning when I checked out 9 Swallow nests at Hambleton and Out Rawcliffe. At the first nest I had thought last week there were five young but when I actually took them out for ringing, there were six, all desperate for a feed as the morning’s cleaning out of dogs, horses and chickens kept the parent Swallows from visiting the nest as often as they wanted. When the cockerels finished squaring up there would be more feathers for the Swallows.

Swallow Chicks

Swallow

Swallow

Squaring Up

Of the remaining nests one had not moved on from last week’s lining stage, five nests remain at egg stage of either four or five eggs but I suspect one had been abandoned. A new nest containing two eggs has appeared in an old door-less garage and this may be the pair from the deserted nest. I now go weekly to keep tabs on any changes and ascertain exactly how advanced are the nests with eggs.

At Rawcliffe I ringed four young from a nest where they were at the same stage as the Hambleton birds, with wing feathers still “in pin”, not yet merging from the wing sheaths, or “IP” as the Integrated Population Monitoring and Recording (IPMR) Nest Record code dictates. Another pair on 4 eggs I will check in seven days.

Other birds I saw out here included singing Yellowhammer, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Goldfinch and a daytime calling Little Owl from a location I know.

Little Owl

Yellowhammer

On the subject of owls, it seems that several people have been told “in confidence” about a recent breeding pair of Long-eared Owl. Some of the individuals trusted with this information are about the least discreet people imaginable so we can be sure that the secret is now well and truly in the public domain. The nesting Long-eared Owls have had their cover blown at Marton where for the last several weeks they remained undisturbed by the curious, the listers, the pager devotees, the unscrupulous photographers or the simply ignorant, all of whom would target the birds. Perhaps it’s best that one site becomes known in order to spare other locations from endless lines of people gouging paths through the vegetation in order to needlessly gawp. You see, if there’s one pair there are others out there, honest.

Long-eared Owl

15 comments:

Fleetwood Birder said...

I couldn't agree more Phil. I remember being interrogated years ago about the last confirmed breeding Long-eared Owls in the Fylde because certain individuals wanted to 'tick' them. And you are quite right, there will be more birds out there, if people would get off 'their behinds' and look for them.

Cheers,

Seumus

Stu said...

The same thing happens here too, have to say it doesn't stop them from breeding the next year though...........

I remember a friend finding Long eared Owls in Preston back in the early 80's (still the only one I've ever seen) and we were the only ones who saw it but that was before the growth of photography..............

Birdringal-andalus said...

Dear Phil, in addition to congratulate you for that photo-eared Owl, I'll take one big question:
Who won the fight, the cock small or large ???...
Regards, Fernando.

NatureFootstep said...

so many hungry chicks. They have not hatched here yet. :)

Phil said...

Hola Fernando, The little hombre gave as good as he got but in the end I think they agreed a 0-0 draw.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful shots of all the birds. I love the owl and the Yellowhammer is beautiful. The swallow chicks are so cute, what a cool sighting!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Little Owl is marvelous and those Barn Swallow chicks are just lovely, wow how sweet they are~

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Little Owl is marvelous and those Barn Swallow chicks are way too cute, how sweet they are~

Anna said...

Wow that was a great opportunity to capture the baby moment, they are such a lovely birds, I always enjoyed watching them. Anna :)

Unravel said...

The long-eared owl chick is so fluffy! I haven't seen this species yet. I think it's a winter migrant here in southern Japan. Lots of Barn Swallow chicks are fledging around here but still several nests are like yours.

mick said...

I especially like the photo of the chicks in the nest.

Bob Kaufman said...

Lovely photos, Phil. Those swallow chicks must be real hungry. :)

Larry said...

Great shots Phil! Of course the photo of the Swallow chicks made me smile from ear to ear. Nice capture of the parent looking like it is scolding you too.

My favorite though is the Little Owl. Its face reminds me a bit of our Burrowing Owl's face with those white eyebrows. And loving raptors like I do, the Long-eared Owl is a show stopper!

Tabib said...

Six Swallow chicks!.
The most I saw here were three Pacific Swallow Chicks

Paco Sales said...

bellas imagenes las que nos aportas, la primera de los polluelos con la boquita abierta es una preciosidad, buen trabajo. Un abrazo

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