Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Showery Session

A forecast of April showers saw me avoid the open coast and instead head inland to Out Rawcliffe where if need be there’s a few trees to provide shelter. I topped up the Goldfinch’s Niger feeders and then scouted around for “owt about” and a possible ringing session on Thursday. 

It was still fairly quiet in our plantation although the male Willow Warblers had arrived in recent days, with 3 singing away in the annual spots but otherwise just the tinklings of several Goldfinches. I put a few nets up and then meandered around, and from the top of the moss surveyed the landscape in all directions, hoping for some “vis mig” which might involve the redpolls of late March starting up again. 

The views from here are good to the east, south and west, less so to the north, and with little traffic noise its usually quiet enough to hear birds overhead in spring or autumn. I caught 4 new Goldfinch and a recaptured a Willow Warbler first ringed here in 2011, but no more of our annual and now serial visitors yet. In fact as heavy clouds rolled in from the west I decided discretion to be the better option so took the nets down; in the nick of time as it proved when a heavy hail storm turned quickly into substantial rain just as I stuffed the nets in their bags. 

Willow Warbler

My wanderings produced a good mix of birds but nothing in the way of overhead migration and no Lesser Redpolls, just a single Siskin. On the recently ploughed fields I found 16 Fieldfare together with 2 pairs of Grey Partridge and 60+ still flocking Woodpigeon, and on the grassy fields, 40+ Curlew, 4 Lapwing, 2 Skylark and 12 Shelduck. Raptors entered in the notebook were 3 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Kestrel, with one Little Owl at the barn early doors. 

 Grey Partridge

Little Owl
 
Other singers this morning included a trio of farmland buntings in 3 Yellowhammer, 1 Reed Bunting and 1 Corn Bunting, the latter singing in the April rain from a broken off stem of last year’s maize crop. 

 Corn Bunting

The forecast is slightly better for Thursday and whilst as the saying goes,“April showers bring May flowers”, birders prefer to believe that April showers bring May birds in early, so stay tuned for more news and pictures soon.

17 comments:

cindyzlogic said...

Wonderful images, Phil! The little Owl is darling! I saw a Great Horned Owl last evening.

Russell said...

Never seen a Grey Partridge before so thank you for showing that wonderful portrait. Love the owl looking at you and what a handsome warbler. Been raining here every time I want to go birding. Today I'm at work and it's splendid outside!

Choy Wai Mun said...

Phil, the partridge shot is certainly a keeper. Well done.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Grey Partridge has such a simple yet stunning plumage. I'd love to see one. Partridges are birds that I don't get to see often either in Thailand or Japan.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Grey Partridge has such a simple yet stunning plumage. I'd love to see one. Partridges are birds that I don't get to see often either in Thailand or Japan.

Chris said...

I'll sign for the little owl... Only saw it once in Morocco!! Beautiful set of pictures Phil and the snow is almost back over here. This winter does not stop!

NewMexiKen said...

That owl is great, but the partridge shot is my favorite.

joo said...

Oh, Little Owl is gorgeous! I mean, I like all of them, but owl is special for me:)

Amila Kanchana said...

Interesting work you do with them lovely birds! Waiting to see more of them.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Hey Little Owl, you look splendid and the grey Partridge, what an elegant looking bird Phil! I LOVE your new header/banner image, just so welcoming, when I clicked on. Now, if only I could change my own banner image, for every time I try, it messes my blog up...

El rincón de Ceditas said...

Excelentes como siempre!!! esta vez me quedo con la perdiz, las he visto pero con otro colorido y esta me encanta.
Saludos

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That's just amazing to me that you saw that many birds in one trip out and around. Thanks so much for sharing. I can't even say which one is my favorite, but I love the owl.

TexWisGirl said...

these are so beautiful! the partridge is so pretty! all are fascinating!

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm so impressed with all the birds you see and photograph!

Cheryl said...

The little owl and grey partridge are new to me. Very sweet shots.

Hope the weather clears and your early May visitors arrive.

eileeninmd said...

Great post, Phil! I just love the Little Owl. Wonderful sightings and birds.

Powell River Books said...

Your owl drew me to the post, and it is my favourite. - Margy

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