Sunday, December 9, 2012

Late Again

Sorry for being late but this is yesterday’s news from Out Rawcliffe, especially as Another Bird Blog is indoors today during wind and rain, a weather scenario in complete contrast to yesterday’s frost. That’s why we both love and hate the good old British weather - never two days the same. 

 I’d gone slowly along icy roads on Saturday to check out the feeding station, mainly to see if the Reed Buntings were still in the abandoned wheat crop, and what if anything was visiting the few winter feeders. I had a net going too and caught 6 Chaffinch and 4 Reed Bunting then cursed halfway through when with another net and an earlier start I could probably have doubled the catch and included a Brambling or two. In and around the feeding station were 5 Blackbird, 2 Redwing, 22 Reed Bunting, 30+ Chaffinch, 8 Goldfinch, 40+ Skylark and 2 Bramblings, those two a bright male and a dull looking female. 
 
Reed Bunting

Chaffinch

Reed Bunting
 
On other parts of the farm I clocked up a single Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, 600 Woodpigeon, 130 Lapwing, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Pied Wagtail and 40+ Tree Sparrow. 

On the way off the farm track I again saw the Little Owl of 2 days ago, in exactly the same tree and stood on virtually the same branch. A little frost and cold weather quickly makes Little Owls spend more time searching out or waiting for food to come by, whereby they invariably use the same or a set of well-tried lookout posts. 

Little Owl
 
At the Fylde’s most trustworthy and traditional site for Fieldfares and Redwings, the hedgerow and trees at the entrance to Rawcliffe Hall, were dozens of the said thrushes, feeding in the tall hawthorns, seemingly playing “chicken” as they flew ahead of each passing vehicle. The blind bend is a dangerous place to stop a car and where in any case the light is always in the wrong direction for photography, and I’m sure that’s why the thrushes use the spot so consistently. Luckily I snapped a few Fieldfares on Friday. 

Fieldfare

On the way home I saw two extra Mistle Thrushes and 3 more Kestrels, two at Town End, Out Rawcliffe followed by one hovering over the roadside verge near Stalmine. Just as Little Owls become more visible during cold weather, I think the same applies to Kestrels, a state of affairs which is probably due to the simple fact that prey is harder to find during cold and frost, and even more so during times of snow. 

Kestrel

This week Another Bird Blog is linking to I'd Rather Be Birding, Stewart's Photo Gallery, and  Weekly Top Shot , so be sure to check them out.  

10 comments:

Pam :) said...

Your beautiful collection of birds was well worth waiting for, Phil.
Nicely done!

eileeninmd said...

Sorry about your day being a rain out. I am not too crazy about driving on icy roads, you are brave. Your Reed Bunting is a pretty bird and I love the cute owl. Beautiful birds and photos, Phil! Happy Birding and have a great week ahead.

HansHB said...

Great photos! Lovely to see every detail!

Findlay Wilde said...

Another great blog post for me to learn from. I really like that first Reed Bunting picture. From Findlay

Rohrerbot said...

Wonderful shots again. Here the weather is constant sunny and I forget about how random it is around the world. You just plan on going birding whenever and wherever you can.....so sorry about the rain. I think that would drive me nuts. The one kind of day I dislike here is the windy one:)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Your little owl has found a good permanent place to "work." (We often see hawks at the same tree or telephone post day after day ...our little story is that they've reported in to the office for the day.) I love the look in your kestrel's eye...he's very alert at "his job."

As always your pictures and impressive bird count astound me. Hope your weather clears up.

Gary Jones said...

Some great images again Phil

TexWisGirl said...

the buntings are so beautiful, as are your fieldfare! great shots!

Carletta said...

Some lovely shots!
I know its nature but it's sad for them to be out there in the cold having to wait for your food to come by.
Hope a better day lies ahead for you.

Madge Bloom said...

WOW, what a marvelous series of shots, that little owl is precious! Thank you for sharing on Weekly Top Shot #60!

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