Friday, February 17, 2012

Yellow And Red

Following a couple of enforced bird-free days I got to Out Rawcliffe where I topped up the Niger feeders and took a wander around. With the wind finally relenting I put up a couple of nets for a while in hoping for a catch of Goldfinches. I caught just 10 birds and it wasn’t the yellow and red of Goldfinches in the net, but the red of Robins and the yellow of Yellowhammers, with 3 Robins, 4 Yellowhammers, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Blackbird and 1 Chaffinch.

Goldfinches were strangely absent this morning with just 4 knocking about the feeders with a number of Chaffinch for company. The Yellowhammers I caught were some of the 15 or so arriving to mop up the wheat falling from the shooter’s game feeders.

Yellowhammer – adult male

Yellowhammer – adult female

Robin

Reed Bunting

The single Blackbird caught, a large first winter male, looked very much like a “continental” type, especially with a wing length of 141mm and a weight of 113 grams.

Blackbird

A good wander round the immediate area revealed not much about: 70 Lapwing, 50 Chaffinch, 2 Kestrel, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 3 Skylark, 2 Corn Bunting, 4 Linnet and 4 Reed Bunting. The mild sort of morning induced a few species into brief song, with new ones for my year of Chaffinch, Skylark and Corn Bunting.

I had a glimpse of a Tawny Owl this morning and found four fresh and still damp pellets from where it took off. An owl pellet is the portion of an owl’s prey that has not been digested. Owls swallow their prey whole (they don’t have teeth to chew) and the feathers, fur, bones and other indigestible parts are regurgitated by the owl some hours after a meal in the form of a compressed pellet of matter.

In my picture (double click to enlarge) it is possible to see the remains of a small bird the owl had eaten - bits of feather and the feather sheaths themselves.

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl Pellet

9 comments:

Rohrerbot said...

Lovely pics. The Tawny Owl shot is really cool...as are the pellets.

Seasons said...

Phil, hope you are well. Its good to see the pictures and read your informative post. The pictures of the Tawny Owl pellets made me smile, but reading on it was also informative. Take care.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Got to really enjoy the looks of the Yellowhammer, what beauties theyare! I think your Robins are amazing and nice seeing you handling one...what a neat thing you all do, like touching nature face to face.
The Owl is fantastic, as always. Cool image of the Owl pellets...wonder what they have been eating more than anything else...rodents...maybe...
Have a brilliant and safe weekend Phil~

Stuart Price said...

Owl pellets, when I was a kid I remember trying to check the contents of one but my mother told me to get it out of the kitchen ASAP...........

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Yellowhammers are stunning. Wish our buntings were as colourful as that. Interesting picture of the pellet as well. Didn't know that Tawny Owl hunts during the day too. Wondering what that little bird is.

Jane said...

Nice series of shots, thanks for sharing:)

rachelle vance photography said...

very interesting blog, I look forward to following~

Gary said...

Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Jidhu Jose said...

tendeptlfuitablecute shots
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