Saturday, June 15, 2013

Birds Before The Rain

Although the BBC's prognosis was for a wretched morning it wasn't nearly so bad as they suggested, the increasing wind speed slowly clearing the grey skies to make a half decent if somehat rain-speckled morning. 

It was 9 am before I reached Conder Green where noisy panicking waders greeted me. A Barn Owl was hunting the marsh where Redshanks and Oystercatchers have young tucked away, the adults' noisy warnings serving as a cue for others to join in. From the lay-by I could see the owl patrolling about ten or twelve feet above the tidal ditches, every so often dropping lower and out of sight. Now if I had been on the other side of the marsh and in the front room of the house alongside the road I think better pictures might have ensued. Anyway Barn Owl is certainly a good bird to get on someone's “house list”. But by now traffic was building up and the owl quickly forsook the marsh and flew off to a daytime roost. 

Barn Owl at Conder Green

The muggy morning and a healthy crop of insects had brought hirundines and Swifts down to eye level with 12 Swift, 14 House Martin, 6 Swallow and 4 Sand Martin noted. An hour or so later the Swifts had increased to 20+ with most of the Swallows and all of the Sand Martins gone. 

Passerines seen and/or heard comprised 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Reed Bunting, 4 Tree Sparrow, 1 Sedge Warbler and 6 Goldfinch. There are young but not yet independent Goldfinches about now, the fledglings staying all the time with the parents and making lots of noise as they beg for food. The young Goldfinches are in our own garden too and as soon as the wind drops I'll be able to catch a few for marking. 

Goldfinch

A few more waders today in the shape of 6 Curlew and 5 Black-tailed Godwits in addition to the expected 15 Redshank,10 Oystercatcher and 6 Lapwing. Wildfowl remain at 2 Canada Goose with young, 12 Shelduck, 14 Tufted Duck, 1 Teal, 1 Pochard 1 Great Crested Grebe and 1 pair of Mallard with 4 young. Now is a good time of year to see the "tufts" on a drake Tufted Duck.

Mallard

Tufted Duck

A quick scoot around Jeremy Lane found 15 Lapwing, 6 Oystercatcher, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Linnet and 12 Skylark. Some of the Skylark are youngsters and others singing adults moving on to second broods I guess. 

Skylark

By now the rain was returning so I headed home, on the way passing Lane Ends Pilling where a singing Blackcap and a single Jay were close to the road. 

Stay tuned to Another Bird Blog for news, views and more new pics.  Meanwhile "click the pics" for a grandstand view.

Linking today to Anni who like me would rather be birdin.

16 comments:

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Beautiful captures.. Congrats..

eileeninmd said...

I would have to watch the barn owl hunting, sounds wonderful! Love this post and the birds, the Tufted duck is one of my favorites!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh I like that Tufted Duck...very nice looking chap and of course the Goldfinch a beauty as well as all others. More rain, so sorry!

Bob Bushell said...

I love the pictures, but the Skylark takes my heart away, superb.

Russell Jenkins said...

Beautiful pictures, Phil. Well worth the grandstand view. I'd love to have had seen that owl at that place and gone in for a cuppa.

Carole M. said...

a successful outing Phil and my favourite is the tufted duck; so different from any I see...

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitas capturas,me gusta especialmente el juvenil de Jilguero.Un abrazo

HOOTIN ANNI said...

...another new one for me. The Tufted Duck!!

TexWisGirl said...

handsome tufted and skylark, too!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful birds. Some are new to me.

HansHB said...

Awesome serie of photos!

Gary said...

Love the Skylark, and Tufted Duck. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Lovely series of photos! Love the stance of the little goldfinch!

Anni said...

I had more time this morning to read more of your post. Yesterday, when I was visiting the Camera Critter links, I was in awe of your post. I still am...and I LOVE the owl in flight.

Still, your tufted duck is my all time favorite for this week.

Have a great week ahead.

Frank said...

Another decent list Phil despite the weather. Barn Owl drifting past the window ... dream on.

Ramón Suárez said...

Como siempre excelentes fotos amigo Phil.
Un abrazo!!

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