Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Not A Lot

Daughter Joanne had a surprise when for a couple of days from the kitchen window she saw a Little Owl on the garden fence. Dad had the job of finding out where the owl was living and why it suddenly took a liking to Joanne’s garden. 

Monday began with a hint of rain, but at 10am I made my way to the garden arbour waiting for the owl to appear. Little did I know the owl was on the conservatory roof behind me, not until it swooped low over the lawn pursued by a scolding Blackbird. The owl flew over the fence and off towards the rather large and unkempt garden 30 yards away where there are tumbledown sheds and greenhouses. The Little Owl perched up briefly as I grabbed a single (underexposed) picture. I’ll go back soon for another try, remembering to use the eyes in the back of my head that all dads have. 

Little Owl

On Tuesday I had a couple of hours free before the babysitting employment so snuck off down Pilling way. 

The sea wall has been really hard work this year, the breeding success of the waders the worst ever in 25+ years of surveying this stretch of coastal "wetland". This year the warning calls of adult Lapwings, Redshanks and Oystercatchers have been absent, the sky overhead unusually silent. This morning I found only my second Lapwing brood of the year and this just a single small chick; it's hardly enough to replenish the pool of new blood for coming years. The remaining pair of Oystercatchers looked to have given up since their chosen Hi-Fly field was tilled again since my visit of Sunday. 

Lapwing

Oystercatcher

There was little else of note, 2 juvenile Pied Wagtails, 2 Grey Heron, 6+ Skylark, 2 Corn Bunting, several loafing Shelduck and way out at the tideline a pair of Eider duck. 

At Lane Ends in the tree tops was a young Jay calling loudly for food. Nearby I found one that didn’t make it, a dead youngster. Jays have bred here for a few years but for a normally noisy species they remain very quiet throughout the breeding seaon. 

 Jay

On and around the pools were 4 Reed Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Little Grebe and a Kestrel suspended in mid-air. 

Little Grebe

Kestrel

That’s not a lot for a couple of hours birding is it? Have no fear, Another Bird Blog will try again tomorrow.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.

25 comments:

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

A Little Owl in garden - this is a big surprise! We would like see that such a bird flew to our garden :-)
Greetings

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant photo of a Little Owl Phil. And I have not seen a Lapwing this year, strange.

Findlay Wilde said...

Imagine getting a Little Owl in the garden, that would be amazing. From Findlay

TexWisGirl said...

that little owl is amazingly cute!! love the grebe, too.

Chris Rohrer said...

This was an interesting read. Owl visits yard. Very excellent find. While maybe not a lot of success with birds, it's still a great report. As for the seabirds, have they moved perhaps elsewhere along the shoreline. I know we've written back and forth on these birds, but it would be a terrible thing to have lost these birds for good from your area.

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!!!
Well done!

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!!!
Well done!

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil A little Owl is lovely and a great surprise to be found in a garden.

Nette Cecilia said...

Great photos ,Nette

Frank said...

I guess 'Sherlock' will be hot on the trail of the Little Owl over the next few days!

Gunilla Bäck said...

I love the little owl. I hope you see it again.

i stora drag said...

Very nice photos, Phil! The little owl is so sweet! I think we have the same birds here in Sweden.
/Pia

eileeninmd said...

I would be nice for birders to have eyes in the back of their heads..Love the Little Owl it is adorable..Another one of my favorites is the Lapwing. Great birds and photos, happy birding!

carol l mckenna said...

That owl is awesome and delightful bird photography as always ~ Happy Week to you ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Marie said...

Wonderful photos! Love the owl, and that kestrel is amazing! So sad about the juvenile jay.

Mary Cromer said...

Haha... yes we do need eyes in the back of our heads at times Phil and I think the single image you captured of Little Owl is quite splendid...and I am sure he will be looking for you, looking for he, or she. So very sad about the Lapwings and their low populations. Such brilliant birds. Your photo shares are always the best...
Thank you for your kind words!
DR this Friday!

Richard Pegler said...

As an owl lover, I dream of having a Little Owl in my garden. I'm sure that it'll remain nothing but a dream - unless I move house to somewhere with a resident owl! Now that's a thought - your daughter's not looking for a move is she?

Beautiful captures, Phil.

Christian Perrin said...

If that's the Little Owl photo you got Phil, it's a wonderful shot!

What do you think is responsible for the poor breeding season currently underway? I've always been impressed with your concerted counting efforts, so if anyone would spot signs of trouble first, it would be you.

BumbleVee said...

awww... a dead birdie...... so sad....

but, the little owl is a cutie....

Janice Adcock said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderfully diverse set of pictures and commentary. It is so helpful for a novice such as myself. Love the two in flight photos. Looking forward to 'owl in flight'.

Susan said...

Hi Phil, I reckon you did pretty well actually!
Love that owl shot, and how special to have him in your yard :D)

Choy Wai Mun said...

You got some great shots here, Phil. But the owl, taken from a garden, wins hands down.

David Gascoigne said...

Your daughter must have been quite thrilled to have the Little Owl in her garden. Just once in my whole life I have had an owl in similar circumstances - an Eastern Screech Owl. I once talked with a woman who lost her cat to a Great Horned Owl off her back deck. She was a birder, but I am not sure that Great Horneds were her favourite species that evening!

Wally Jones said...

It's been interesting as we proceed through our third year of Florida's second Breeding Bird Atlas to compare date with the first atlas from 25 years ago. Clearly, some species have been affected by habitat changes. Some "invasive" species were barely noted then (e.g., Eurasian Collared Dove).

Other fluctuations are not so easily explained. Hopefully, your waders are happily breeding not far away.

Your Daughter's Little Owl seems to have found a comfortable hunting spot! Now if he could just figure out why that two-legged creature keeps stalking him.

Another weekend coming up already?? Wow, time and birds fly!

thewovenspoke said...

Nice little owl, and all the other birds sightings you have made recently. great bunch of photos.

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