Monday, March 31, 2014

Just A Wheat

A couple of hours after lunch proved all I could manage today, so apologies for the brevity and lack of pictures. Remember to “click the pics” for close-up views and/or click the “Crosspost” button to share a picture to Facebook and Twitter. 

A single Wheatear gave me the run around for almost an hour before he took the bait to become number eight ringed in March. And there are birders yet to connect with a Wheatear this year! 

Lots of adult males will already be on territory up in the hills, their migration taking them directly there rather than lingering along the coast, so I wasn’t surprised when this latest one was another second year male. It was of standard proportions with a wing length of 95mm and a weight of 25gms. The bigger, brighter and heavier “northern” Northern Wheatears are yet to pass through, normally arriving here in mid-April on their way to Iceland and beyond. 

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

The usual route took me from Lane Ends to Piling Water, Worm Pool, Fluke Hall and then back the same way. Lots of Meadow Pipits around again, mostly in one quite large grounded flock of 140+ birds taking flight occasionally and once again, heading east along the sea wall. Whether these were birds from the mass migration of recent days or this morning’s grounded arrivals it was hard to tell. 

There was a Merlin on a fence post directly behind the sea wall and even though I tried to sneak up for a better look, it was rapidly gone as soon as my head poked above the embankment. Two Ravens were making mischief in the back fields again, or at least the crows thought they were as they dive bombed and harassed the Ravens into flying somewhere quieter. The Carrion Crows usually have it their own way along here.

Carrion Crow

On the wildfowler’s pools I found 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Egret, 4 Teal and 15+ Redshank. At Fluke Hall a Kestrel, a Chiffchaff and a single Linnet, the latter worthy of special mention so scarce are they at the moment. 

Linnet

800 Pink-footed Geese still on the marsh and back at Lane Ends, a male Sparrowhawk, 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Little Grebe. 

Maybe I’ll get a half day or more in tomorrow. If so read the news here first with Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.

17 comments:

mick said...

You may not have sighted or photographed a lot of birds - but the ones you did get are beautiful. I especially like the Linnet standing on the rock with the yellow lichen.

Cynthia said...

I love to go to bird banding events. It's such a thrill to hold a tiny bird and then let it go. The wheatear is so pretty.

carol l mckenna said...

All are wonderful ~ favorite is the single bird on the fence (crow) something about the barbed wire color behind the crow ~ great combination ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol

Fun60 said...

More of your excellent bird photos.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, I can just picture the Wheatear giving you a hard time. beautiful birds and wonderful photos. Have a great week and happy birding!

Karen said...

You have a lot of patience Phil waiting to ring birds! The Linnet is a pretty little bird.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Love the rusty colors of the Linnet. I so admire what you do with birds/birding.

David Gascoigne said...

Reading this really emphasizes the simple fact that what is common in one part of the world would be a true rarity in another. Maybe we can trade a Blue Jay and a Northern Cardinal for a Wheatear and a Meadow Pipit for a day or two!

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonita captura del Pardillo comun.Un abrazo

Chris Rohrer said...

Carrion Crows look like brawlers! I know it's a bit of work, but it also sounds like a lot of fun and study all at once.

HansHB said...

Interesting post, great reading. Beautiful photos!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil Love the Linnet and Wheatear shots especially

Gunilla Bäck said...

Excellent shots! The linnet is very pretty.

Adam Jones said...

I really love the Linnet. Such an underrated bird.

Brian King said...

Beautiful shots, Phil! I especially like the crow!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Sweet little linnet...haven't heard of this bird...all wonderful and I remain in happy awe at the sheer numbers you see.

Wally Jones said...

A couple hours birding far exceeds the joy of actual work.

You made efficient use of the time you spent! The photographs are all splendid and each bird has his own special appeal.

Let me know when you learn the secret to sneaking up on a Merlin!

I have been doing a lot of birding lately so apologies for not commenting more often!

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