Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Strange Old Day

After more overnight strong winds and rain I went up to Knott End first thing on the off chance the weather had left a few bits and pieces behind. But there was nothing much out of the ordinary, just 3 Eider, 9 Cormorant, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and neatly rounded approximates of 70 Oystercatcher, 1200 Knot, 700 Dunlin and 125 Ringed Plover.

The BBC promised an improving day, lessening wind and sunny intervals so I drove over to the feeding station for a look and to complete the chore of topping up the Niger feeders. I could see there were plenty of finches about; some on the feeders, but lots in the shooter’s unsprayed and full of weeds maize crop, 100+ Goldfinch, 100+ Linnet and 25+ Greenfinch. There’s those approximates again, but how does anyone accurately count mixed and highly mobile flocks of 200+ finches?

Goldfinch

Through the shower clouds I pretty soon spotted the elusive Marsh Harrier that’s been roaming far and wide for a few weeks now, from St Michaels and across to Pilling Moss, several miles of road for me but a flap and a farmland glide or two for Circus aeruginosus. I watched both a dive bombing Peregrine, then a Sparrowhawk and then a Kestrel have a go at the harrier, but the farmer in his combine harvester had the best view as the bird sped across towards Pilling Moss again. All I got was yet another distant shot.

Marsh Harrier

The wind and rain never did ease off properly, but then on my way home through Hambleton I got a phone call about a wind-blown manxie, and it’s a long time since I photographed a close-up manxie, Bardsey in fact. And I’m fairly certain I have never taken pictures of Manx Shearwater, Goldfinch and Marsh Harrier on the same strange day.

Manx Shearwater

Manx Shearwater

Chris in Iceland advises me that Meadow Pipits are poised for take-off. I’m ready for the off too Chris, all that’s required is a spot of half decent weather.

5 comments:

Paco Sales said...

Veo que el tiempo sigue jugando malas pasadas amigo Phil, espero que mejore y puedas lograr buenas capturas provenientes de Islandia, un abrazo para ti amigo

Jeremy Medina said...

Awesome day! Great photo of the manx.

Russell said...

A nice variety of birds to find. Your hsrrier shot is better than any of mine here in Japan. They really frustrate me as they're always visible over the middle of the wetlands but they just don't come-up close enough for a photo.

Stu said...

Shearwaters are always nice to see up close.

Terrible weather here, September has been a write off so far.........

Seasons said...

Phil, 200+ is surely a lot of finches. Great to see some clinging to the Feeder. That shot of the Marsh Harrier swooping down is, worthy of being made into a poster. Thanks!

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