Friday, September 9, 2011

A Good Old Chat

I seem to see a lot of Marsh Harriers, a species which is also my photographer’s nemesis. Maybe it’ s just that I like to do my birding and ringing where Marsh Harriers occur, marshes naturally enough but here in the North West they like our extensive farmland, where tall crops and scattered trees make the landscape look remarkably like a marsh.

Today’s male was at Fluke Hall, where I’d sat down on the stile to shelter in the lee of a gatepost from yet another heavy shower when the harrier appeared from over the sea wall and briefly circled the field north of Fluke. There are a couple of atrocious record shots of the distant bogey bird but at the end of this post there are some images from later in the day of a dependable bird that always performs for the camera – Wheatear.

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

The light was so poor I couldn’t get a proper shot of the local Peregrine either. It appeared from behind me, took a passing dive at a Starling and then shot out over the marsh into the distance.

Those two birds had been the highlight of the mile or two long walk from Lane Ends, with fairly unimpressive counts of much else save for a steady passage south of 100+ Swallows heading into the drizzle and murk: Otherwise my figures were: 2 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 30 Teal. 42 Lapwing, 1 Raven, 1 Stock Dove, 1 White Wagtail, 8 Linnet, 70 Goldfinch and a solitary Skylark.

Skylark

It was the Wheatears that brightened up the afternoon and saved the camera from having a blank day. There were five of them jumping about in the warm shelter of the boulders where the flies hang out. When the shutter clicked audibly, one or two stopped searching, and then perched up to alarm call, “chacking” loudly and then taking a better look at the intruder.

Wheatear

Wheatear

Wheatear

Wheatear

I hate to mention the dreaded "w" word but a spot or of decent stuff might lead to a little ringing soon.

8 comments:

Chris said...

oh yes the wheatear saved the day... You got them too well ;-) Fantastic Phil, I guess if you see more and more of them, it means that they are gone from here ;-)

grammie g said...

Hey Phil..did you get any photos of the wheatear???? just wondering!! lol

Very good ..I like that Harrier too!!

Grace

Russell said...

You're right about the Wheatear. Looks fantastic posing on the moss.

Dominic Gendron said...

rWow, what a great serie of images from a pretty nicve bird! Congrats ;)

Seasons said...

Hi Phil! You turn not-so-good days into better ones by persisting. The second shot of the Marsh Herrier looks like a painting, particularly with the grass below. The stats aren't bad at all. The Wheatear is a beautiful bird, and you could get different angles on the shots. Thank you.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The Skylark is wonderful, and then I scroll down to the Wheatears...oh my Phil, all of these images are awesometastical, but the first one of the Wheatear looking at you, those alert eyes, incredible looking image! Those Harriers shots aren't too shabby either;), at least you get to see them...

JWBateman said...

Hi Phil: One of these days a MH will land near you Best wishes JWB

Paco Sales said...

Bellas tomas Phil, una tarde provechosa y con preciosas fotografías con unos tonos suaves muy buenos. Un abrazo para ti amigo Phil

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