Monday, October 29, 2012

Afternoon Escape

Just too many competing priorities meant no birds this morning. At midday the sun still shone and the wind blew nil. So what is a man supposed to do but escape out onto the moss for a few hours of fresh air and birding before the weather turns again for the rest of the week? So I put up a few nets then sat in the warm sunshine taking in the view across the puddled wheat crop and over to the distant fells. 

 Afternoon On The Moss

11 birds caught at the feeders, 8 Goldfinch, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Great Tit and 1 Chaffinch. So definitely not as productive as the morning might have been, but a pleasant couple of hours and a variety of other birds seen. I can’t resist taking more photographs of Lesser Redpolls, a stunning little bird. Fortunately enough it has in the last eight or ten years become much more locally common and numerous, especially in spring and autumn. 

Lesser Redpoll

Not surprisingly, and after another downpour last night, the wet fields still hold a number of Snipe, impossible to say how many without walking every square inch to see and hear them explode from your feet as they zig-zag away to escape. It was the difficulties involved in hunting Snipe which gave rise to the term "sniper".

Snipe

Two hunting Kestrels today, and as I watched them came a fly-over of 6 Black-tailed Godwit and a large party of c 150 Lapwings and upwards of 1000 Starlings, all disturbed off a more distant field. During the couple of hours I saw 90/100 Fieldfares, ones and twos going in various directions, and then about 1600 hours a flock of 80 heading to a roost somewhere over towards Pilling. By 4 o’clock finches were heading to roost too, with 30+ Goldfinches flying north and 15/20 Chaffinches contact calling as they headed somewhere north but out of sight. Other birds in the immediate area, 5 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1Yellowhammer, 4 Linnet, 15 Tree Sparrow, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Pied Wagtail, 12 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Buzzard. 

I hadn’t seen a Little Owl here for weeks so as I drove off site about four-thirty I looked in all the trees they use until I found the right one. 

Little Owl

The forecast isn’t good for the rest of the week but let’s not grumble, only count ourselves fortunate in comparison to the good folk of eastern USA who are about to experience a humdinger of a hurricane. Stay safe all you blog followers over there. 

This week Another Bird Blog is linking with Anni who'd also rather be birding anytime, and also with Stewart an ex-pat who lives in Australia - Stewart

18 comments:

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Your landscape shot is gorgeous!! Beautiful shots of the snipe and little owl. Hope the weather improves for you and that our eastern friends are spared any serious harm.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, all three are my favorites. The Redpoll, Snipe and Little Owl all very cool sightings. Wonderful photos and post, Phil!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Good morning Little Owl;')
The Snipe, very cool bird and wow, you must get very close to nearly step upon them.
The Redpoll is a beauty, looks very different from ours which look as though they dipped their sweet little heads into a glass of fine wine, or cranberry juice, whichever you prefer.
Now then, the opening image is spectacular Phil, really glorious with the afternoon lighting...
sweet perfection in nature captured~~

Chris said...

I'll sign for the little owl immediately. I've only seen it once in Morocco!!! The snipe shot is also superb! It's getting cold over here so I guess you will get the rest of our birds ;-)

Anni said...

Fantastic images of a great bird!!! I especially loved viewing the "little owl"

mick said...

It looks like a very nice afternoon out - and the photo of the Snipe is especially beautiful.

El rincón de Ceditas said...

Que bellas imagenes nos traes siempre.
Un abrazo

Adam Jones said...

Another lovely post. The Snipe is amazing, and one of my favourite birds. Superb.

Fjällripan said...

Fantastic photos of all these three birds! Love the snipe :)

Gary said...

Great series!! Boom & gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The little owl is charming..adorable. Thanks for sharing..remarkable pictures and amazing variety of birds you saw.

Wally Jones said...

I just found your site and I'm now busy reading through your previous posts. What great reporting!
Your images and word descriptions are wonderful.
Looking forward to more!

-Wally (Florida, USA)

mick said...

Hi Phil, thanks for your recent comment on my blog and sorry I must be more careful how I label my photos - perhaps put more space around the photos - the Greenshanks are the photo below and of course do not roost in trees here either. The birds in the tree are Tattlers and Sandpipers.

Neil said...

Beautiful photos love the owl.

Joyful said...

Beautiful! However did you get that little bird in your hand?

Stewart M said...

I can see why you take the pictures of the Siskins.

I think the Little Owl was the first owl I ever got a really good look at. It was on the Somerset Levels, and I was about 13! God thats a long time ago!

Thanks for linking to WBW

Stewart M - Australia

Anni said...

I think I like the pattern/colors of the snipe best of all. Very attractive yet so camouflaging.

Anni said...

ps...thanks for linking up at the Bird D'Pot this week.

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