Monday, June 30, 2014

Guess Where, Guess What?

It’s a short post today because there isn’t too much to say from a visit to, yes you’ve sussed it, the usual spots. 

Yet another Barn Owl kicked off the morning as I had brief views of one flying across the road at Cockerham before it did the usual disappearing act over a hedgerow. Barn Owls are just as wary as most birds and aren’t going to stop their early morning hunting to pose on a fence post for camera wielding birders. They are surprisingly fast flyers too when trying to focus for an in-flight picture. 

Barn Owl

The returning wader theme continued at Conder Green with a good count of 10 Common Sandpiper and 140 Redshank but no sign of the Spotted Redshank of weekend. Another birder reported 15 Common Sandpipers here on Sunday and there’s every chance that each day sees new arrivals; there is after all a valid reason the species has the qualifying “common” in their name. 

Also new in were 2 Grey Wagtails feeding in the low-tide creek amongst the Redshanks, Common Sandpipers, 8 Oystercatcher, 2 Curlew, 1 Grey Heron and 7 Little Egrets. 

Little Egret

Otherwise, and with the risk of boring regular readers, there was little change to be had around Conder Pool in the way of 15 Tufted Duck, 2 Wigeon, 14 Lapwing, 1 Pied Wagtail, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Stock Dove and 75+ Swift. 

On a lovely sunny morning I hoped for a repeat of the Glasson Dock Otters of Saturday but now in good light, even though there’s some truth in the maxim “lightning never strikes twice”. No bolts from the blue and no Otters today. 

Compensation arrived in the form of a pleasant walk around the yacht basin and along the canal towpath with 2 Grey Heron, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush and 15+ Blackbirds, together with a Grey Wagtail to add to those of Conder. 

A Grey Heron was fishing from the remains of the boat sunk during last winter’s storms - that’s the old washing line in the background. When the heron had flown off towards the canal a Coot brought Junior Coot to the wreck for a wash and brush up. 

Grey Heron

 Coot

I’ve been watching the Swallows here and waiting for the young to emerge from under the road bridge but there’s no sign of any juveniles yet, just adults, so I think the nests have failed. 

Swallow

On the way home I called to see Chris who has a Sand Martin colony in his recently quarried fields. It looks like a good season so far with a total of 120+ Sand Martins on the fences and in the air, plus 10 or more Swallows. 

 Sand Martin

There are more guessing games on Another Bird Blog soon. Try to be here.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday

30 comments:

David Gascoigne said...

I am always struck by the outrageous feet of moorhens, coots and other similar rails. Great shot of the two generations.

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Fantastic pictures, Phil! The first photo of a flying Barn Owl is the best :-)

mick said...

All great photos but I especially like the owl. Many years ago that was the only kind of owl ever shown in children's books. Common Sandpipers are seen down this way as well - but they are anything but common! Bird names frequently suit the northern hemisphere - but not down here.

Lew said...

Nice collection of birds. The owls are facinating. Great inflight shot!

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

How wonderful to be able to take a photo of an owl full face in this way. The heron manages to look like a statue and the young birds are delightful. I remember the first time I came close enough to coots out of water to see they have blue feet - and being astonished.

Gary Phillips said...

Beautiful close ups!! Boom, Bobbi and Gary.

Fun60 said...

That photo of the barn owl is terrific.

Cynthia said...

I love the baby coot getting a brush-up from mama. What a nice capture. Great view of the barn owl in flight,also.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, you are so lucky at seeing the Barn Owls. Great flight capture! I love the cute Coot chicks and the swallows. Lovely birds and post.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

It's a wonderful time of year for birding, isn't it?

carol l mckenna said...

I love the barn owl in flight ~ yet all gorgeous photography ~ for OWT ~ thanks, ^_^

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Marie said...

You did wonderfully getting that barn owl in flight! Love all the wonderful birds, especially the last two.

Carole M. said...

Phil you still picked up some lovely images to share again. Lovely to see the little coot (oh, and that wonderful Barn Owl in flight)

Wally Jones said...

Looks as though your local patch is producing an impressive diversity.

Hope the Swallows surprise you in the coming days and young birds start showing up. I was not familiar with the Sand Martin but it looked familiar. Here in N. America it's called the Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia).

That Spotted Redshank from the other day needs to hang around more often! What a beauty!

Our summer has arrived and the only time to be out is a bit before sunrise for a couple of hours. Then the heavy rains, thunder and lightning begins for the day.

Fortunately, I am able to vicariously go birding in your patch!

All the best.

Arija said...

Lovely set of photos but that barn owl has captured my heart.

Stuart Price said...

You did great to get a non BIF Sand Martin................

Mary Cromer said...

What a lovely morning image of the Barn Owl Phil and yet quite a sad thing to think the Swallow nests have failed all in one go. I always love those Swallows. The Sand Martins sure are pretty birds! That little Coot is adorable!!! Take care~

Stewart M said...

Great image of the owl - I spending bit of time out and about in the evenings at present - but no luck. Maybe I should try early in the morning!

Cheers - Stewart M

Karen said...

I'd be happy to see just one of those Phil! Marvellous captures, love the owl in flight!

Adam Jones said...

Stunning shot of the Little Egret and love the Swallow. Hope the Barnies are doing well in your area this year.

Findlay Wilde said...

I really like that Sand Martin picture. I have never seen one that close up before. from Findlay

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil. not often one gets as good a shot at a sand Martin as you got. Also loved the. Barn Owl shots as well. You had a goodly number of different birds seen.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful birds all of them!

TexWisGirl said...

such sweet shots! loved every one of them. again!

Bob Bushell said...

I love with the Sand Martin, superb.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Love the juvenile coot!! And your barn owl is tremendously beautiful...in flight like that.

Ida said...

What fun to see so many different birds like that. The Barn Owl is my favorite. Also the little "coot" was so cute.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I could look at that owl all day! And great news about the Sand Marten ... as always all wonderful pictures.

Janice Adcock said...

Enjoyed each of your photos and your commentary.

Cosette Paneque said...

Wonderful photos. That baby Coot is too cute.

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