The outside temperature read minus 1 °C again, and as I took the frost guard off the windscreen the local Tawny Owls were busy making a fair old din. They called away to each other, tempting me to go and take a look, but it was too dark. Anyway I’ve tried it before and they just fly to their other spots where they continue their canoodling duet.
Through Hambleton village a Little Owl flew across the highway ahead of the car and towards the darkness on the other side of the road. I was on the way out to the moss again hoping to kick off the migrant year with a Chiffchaff, maybe even a Willow Warbler. As I walked into the plantation I could see the local Barn Owl plugging away again in the distance but when I got back to the car the owl was gone, hopefully back to the barn with a vole or two from the frosty fields.
Don’t forget to “click the pics” for a light box show, I think Blogger have sorted the problem for now.
I caught the Chiffchaff but not much else during an extremely quiet couple of hours. Just seven birds caught from the bare, leafless and insect free plantation - 2 Goldfinch with singles of Brambling, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Robin and Blue Tit, all from the feeding station.
Of over 400 Bramblings ringed by the ringing group in almost thirty years today’s is only the second one ringed in the month of April and an indicator of how Bramblings are very late in returning north this year.
The birding was equally as quiet as the ringing, almost non-existent in fact with 4 Fieldfares and similar numbers of Meadow Pipits high overhead in the clear morning sky the only real signs of bird movement. Otherwise all was local stuff once again with 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 2 Mistle Thrush, 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 3 Corn Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer, 15 Tree Sparrow and 40+ Curlew.
On the way home I stopped to check out the Little Owl pair where I found them both on the lookout for daylight food, and like me puffed up against the still cold air.
I had to stop the car on the way home when the mobile rang from a lady in Knott End who’d seen a single Waxwing in gardens near the promenade.
I thanked the lady for the info but there was no time for a Waxwing twitch after I’d spent a good fifteen minutes with the owls. I needed to get home, sort the pictures and grab a bite to eat myself - a birder’s work is never done.
Log in soon for more news and views and find out if the Little Owls pics got sorted.In the meantime take a look at Stewart's Photo Gallery on the other side of the world down in Aussie.