Saturday, February 2, 2013

Redwing Surprise

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and after a slow ringing session this morning I knew that after my 2 weeks holiday followed by just a week of dropping food at the feeding station, it would have been better to leave the ringing for a few more days to let birds find the food again. 

Just 7 birds caught - 2 Chaffinch, 2 Blackbird, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Coal Tit and 1 Redwing. 

Finding a smart looking adult Redwing in a net came as a nice surprise, although a small movement of c 30 Fieldfares heading north-west throughout the morning hinted at thrushes on the move. 

Redwing

Blackbird

Coal Tit

Goldfinch

The Goldfinches weren’t interested in the nyger feeders today with about 30 of them sticking to feeding on the ground in a nearby meadow; goodness knows what seeds they find to eat in February. There were 20+ Reed Buntings around today, none finding their way to the nets. Chaffinches were pretty thin on the ground today, the large flock of recent months now having dispersed, with just 20 or so birds around and at least one Brambling, possibly four together overhead and flying north-west. 

If the ringing was quiet, the birding was much better and something of a raptor morning with 6 Buzzards (3 pairs), 3 Kestrel, a juvenile Peregrine, a pair of Sparrowhawks and of course a Little Owl. Other birds seen: 8 Corn Bunting, 40+ Tree Sparrow, 2 Yellowhammer, 600 Woodpigeon, 1 Woodcock. 

I saw the Sparrowhawks from a good distance away as they sat just feet apart, sunning themselves in a clump of bare willows, the bright breast of the male in particular drawing attention to them. As my car drew up the female turned and disappeared into the trees behind, the male continuing to sit on the exposed branch. It was a good distance away and the picture is heavily cropped and taken through a tiny gap in the vegetation: fortunately the bright sunshine allowed the crop. From the orangey eye colour it looks to be a fully adult male and the birds are in the same location they bred last year. Fingers crossed for a better year than the one youngster reared last season. 

Sparrowhawk

Birds were singing too - Skylark, Mistle Thrush, Reed Bunting and Great-spotted Woodpecker. The winter sunshine brought out the Brown Hares today with some running about the fields but no actual “boxing” yet. 

Brown Hare

Little Owl

Log in again soon for more news and views from Another Bird Blog. This week the blog is linking to Stewart's Photo Gallery and to Anni who would rather be birding most any time, and also to  Weekly Top Shot .

32 comments:

Betty Manousos said...

beautiful birds!
stunning shots!

eileeninmd said...

Poor birdies missed you feeding them. I am sure they were happy to see the feeders filled again. Beautiful photos and a great collection of birds. The Sparrowhawk is awesome. Happy Birding and have a great weekend!

Karen said...

What a great series of shots. That finch has beautiful markings.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Buenas capturas Phil.Un abrazo

Kay L. Davies said...

Too bad no one kept it up while you were away. I'm glad the winter birds here are mostly the kind that eat our frozen ornamental crabapples and don't depend on me for feeders. I'm so unreliable. And we're gone again tomorrow, for the first leg of the trip to Europe (I know, not Britain yet, too bad) and won't be back for a month.
Your photos are lovely today, Phil. I had to laugh because you have "redwings" and blackbirds, and in Alberta we have redwing blackbirds.
We have no idea yet what kind of internet connection we'll have in Italy. We do know it is madly expensive on cruise ships, so I'll probably be out of touch for a while at least.
K

Anni said...

I love the one with the yellow in it's wings and a rusty face 'mask'. Beautiful, all of them.

Jedediah said...

Lovely photos, such a great variety of birds.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh the look of the Sparrowhawk's eye and the gorgeous Brown Hare, what a cool looking chap he is and the surprise of the Redwing and then of course the other shares...very nice post Phil. That Brown Hare really is a neat looking one! Happy weekend~

Marie said...

Wonderful photos! I had to show the owl to my daughter, she loves all things owls :-)

Visiting via Camera Critters

Russell Jenkins said...

Some nice portraits. To me the redwing looks similar to the dusky thrush we can see in Japan. The sparrowhawk and owl are super captures. -Great poses by the two.

Chubskulit Rose said...

Gorgeous!

Our Critter.
I appreciate your comment as always..

Lighthousegal said...

Great collection of photos. Such close up and clear shots. I especially like the Goldfinch with its bright beautiful colors.

Marie said...

Love the redwing blackbird photos! I'm confused about the goldfinch...isn't that a related finch? I am a real newbie so I am likely wrong, but I think I saw a shot of this same bird on another blog and it was called a goldfinch and one of the bloggers I know who is much better versed in different species called it something like a zebra finch. Not sure.

HansHB said...

So many lovely birds to see.
Great serie of photos!

TexWisGirl said...

what a great set of shots, once again! loved the sparrowhawk and hare at the end, too!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I feel like I say the same thing every time I visit your blog, but the detail you are able to capture is so impressive. The hare and his long legs were a nice bonus. :)

Gary said...

Another great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Wally Jones said...

It seems as if your birds are gearing up for spring. Hope they're right!
Wonderful photos all. I like the Sparrowhawk due to the skill apparent in obtaining the image.
We have the North American version (Accipiter cooperii) occasionally swoop down on doves and squirrels in our back yard.

Regards.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful birds!

Roan said...

Beautiful bird shots. Love the Hare. The Goldfinch is much different than ours, this one is much more colorful.
RubbishbyRoan

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Wonderful bird photos!

Choy Wai Mun said...

The sparrowhawk looks like a real feisty individual. Great shots as usual.

Madge Bloom said...

Sweet, you capture them all so beautifully... I'm so glad you came by to share on Weekly Top Shot #68!

Marie said...

Thanks so much, Phil for helping me to understand about the European Goldfinch! Your location in the UK was right next to the bird's picture. You would think I might have realized this must be a European bird! :-) Well, I'm just glad to learn about it. I discovered several months ago that what we have here in AZ is the Lesser Goldfinch. What is life if one cannot continue to learn.

Jackie said...

I am new to birding and I truly appreciate all of the information.

I love every single little beautiful creature and your shots are marvelous!

I hope you have a lovely week!

Findlay Wilde said...

A brilliant selection of birds and fabulous pictures of them. From Findlay

mick said...

A great series of photos and the glimpse of the sparrowhawk with the sun on its breast is beautiful.

Larry said...

Beautiful shots of all the birds Phil, as usual. The Sparrowhawk cam out great and I will never tire of seeing that exceptional Little Owl!

Patti said...

I got pictures of some red-winged blackbirds visiting our yard today. It's interesting to see the variations of different birds from one continent to another. Our goldfinch has no red on it. Thanks for sharing the birds and critters.

Stuart Price said...

Love the Hare picture Phil..........

Stewart M said...

I actually think that there is something hidden and interesting about the sparrowhawk shot - it looks really very wild.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

Stewart M - Melbourne

Neil said...

Great series.

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