Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Tour

Cockerham is always good for the resident Little Owls and when I turned up there today one of the pair was searching the peaty soil for a meal. When the bird spotted me with the car window wound down it flew back up to the nest box and just glared at me for interrupting the planned meal. Except for a number of Lapwing and 50+ Curlew there wasn’t much else on Moss Edge, there never is nowadays since the change in agricultural practice to silage and spring sowing. In the old days Moss Edge was THE place to see the early year wild geese, sometimes from the hay loft of a birder-friendly farmer’s barn as the geese picked over the remains of the previous year’s potato crop.

Little Owl

Little Owl

Having toured Moss Edge the main road back to Pilling alongside the wet fields was more bird friendly, but being biker mile/death row, a little too dangerous to stop apart from being able to pull into the junction of Gulf Lane. Along here I picked up 1 Merlin, 1 Kestrel, 30 Golden Plover, 900 Curlew, 14 Oystercatcher, 40 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing and 25 Redshank.

At Lane Ends the pools are now thawed with the result that 2 Tufted Duck have reappeared but not much else unless you count the Mallards of dubious origin. At least 20 Chaffinch here, 6+ Blackbirds, 2 Little Egret and 1 Cormorant.

Mallard

Both Backsands Lane and Fluke Hall Lane proved bird productive, with a second Merlin, 2 more Kestrel, 300+ Lapwing, 18 Golden Plover, 95 Dunlin, 45 Redshank, 2 Snipe, 25 Oystercatcher, 10 Eurasian White-fronted Goose, 3 Skylark, 1 Pied Wagtail and 190 Shelduck. With 50+ additional Curlew it took todays count to over 1000 for the species. The light was poor again today, hence the ISO400 and resulting noise on the Curlew picture.

Oystercatcher

Curlew

With more grey skies and breezes promised for tomorrow, I may take a day off, but you never know – stay tuned.

12 comments:

Rohrerbot said...

Excellent!! Love the first shots. Good eye for spotting that little owl!

Christian said...

A day off! We'll see eh? You'll get 'the urge'!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I love that name...Curlew;) and the image is spectacular!
Those Little Owl images just make me happy, they are such beautiful creatures, those eyes, and shame on you for messing in the hunt...now hmmm. Have I ever done that with the hawks...shhhh, not to say;)~

Russell said...

Love the owl and curlew pictures. Never seen a wild owl in daylight. What big eyes they have for "little" owls.

Tammy said...

That's an impressive number of birds! Great series of photos!

Kay L. Davies said...

"Mallards of dubious origin" made me smile, although I'm not sure why.
I like the curlew photo, Phil, and the muddy-faced Oystercatcher.
Will be interesting to see if you do take a day off tomorrow. LOL
K

Paco Sales said...

Preciosas instantáneas del mochuelo, si al final mañana el tiempo no acompaña bien cae un dóa de descanso, no Phil. Un abrazo amigo

news said...

Hi Phil: I also remember the days when Geese where abundant in the fields of Moss Edge,one of my first bird experinces was watching them feeding in numbers Best Wishes JWB.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, my day would have been made seeing the Little Owl, the lapwings and that great Curlew. Wonderful photos!

Stuart Price said...

I always use ISO 400!

Choy Wai Mun said...

The Little Owl is really adorable. Great shots.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Lovely photos of the Little Owl! Reminds me a bit of the Asian Barred Owlets I have in my backyard at home in Thailand. Wondering what camera body you are using. I believe we can use high ISO without getting too much noise with most of the new DSLR these days.

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