Monday, September 8, 2014

Do It Again

Monday was almost a rerun of Sunday’s birds except that I managed a few pictures today without resorting to beg, steal or borrow them. 

In the half light of Burned House Lane a Barn Owl flew across the car’s path, the owl illuminated in the headlights for a second or two until it veered off over the fields and left none the worse for dicing with death. Next came 2 Kestrels on roadside telegraph poles, one at Head Dyke Lane, and the other near Horse Park Lane. Our local place names are mostly ancient and often very descriptive, but please don’t ask me the meaning of Scronkey, a hamlet near Pilling. 

In a tree next to the road at Cockerham was a Tawny Owl in exactly the same spot as Sunday morning. It’s just a stand of old trees and perhaps not where anyone might look for a Tawny Owl but as the owl flew back into the dark canopy I made a mental note of the exact location. It’s handy to know regular spots for regular birds which aren’t necessarily easy to see or photograph. 

Tawny Owl
 
Maybe there was a miscalculation or perhaps it was the morning mist which led to a count of only 200 Swallows at Glasson on Sunday. They were back in force this morning by way of a minimum of 1000 birds congregated around the moored boats and pontoons. In the cropped picture below, just part of a large yacht, are approximately 80 Swallows, so it not difficult to imagine ten or twelve times that number. The Swallows loaf around and feed over the water for about an hour before they begin to disperse in small groups and head off in all directions. There was a Common Tern fishing the water again, the one which does a circuit and then heads off towards Conder Green. 

Swallows

The Common Terns were very active at Conder Green where the adults still take food to a youngster on the island, its bigger sibling now almost independent and flying off to fish the creeks with mom or dad or resting up on the island amongst the Lapwings. 

Common Tern and Lapwings

 Juvenile Common Tern

Sunday’s Ruff was still about, feeding in the far creek and then later on the pool. The other waders today - 4 Greenshank, 4 Snipe, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 30+ Redshank and 70+ Lapwing. Below is a distant and far from best-ever picture of a Greenshank which shows how the species eats small fish as well as invertebrates. 

Greenshank

Needless to say the Kingfisher put in an appearance although if people need to see it at close quarters it is best not to wear bright clothes and to approach the screen with caution. Birds have eyesight far keener than our own. Ears are their second most important sense with a range similar to that of humans. 

Kingfisher

Six Little Grebes, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Heron and 3 Wigeon completed the count here so I walked the railway path to Glasson and back looking for finches and warblers while breakfasting on the plentiful Blackberries. At one point the noisy complaints of Swallows pointed me to a Peregrine coasting towards Glasson, the Swallows had broken off from feeding high to gang up on the raptor; their highly tuned senses had spotted the Peregrine before me. The raptor carried on flying; the Swallows lost interest and returned to base, their forewarning to others had done the trick. 

There was a good sized flock of tits roaming up and down and across the hedgerow, Long-tails, Great and Blue, a flock which held three or more Chiffchaffs. There were no Coal Tits amongst the flock and it’s a species I’ve not seen lately, and as far as I could tell no warblers other than the Chiffchaffs, although lots of Robins.

Robin

A gathering of 50+ Goldfinches also held several Linnets but neither species is especially good at sitting still for cameras. 

Linnets

Goldfinch

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday and Our World Tuesday in Australia. Oh no, is it Tuesday already? Looks like I will have to do it all over again soon.



27 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

such sweet birds. always love to see the lapwings and your bright kingfisher. beautiful owl!

David Gascoigne said...

Scronkey...now there's a name for you. I think my starter wife used to wake up scronkey most mornings!

Christa atCedarmereFarm said...

It's such a visual treat to visit your blog. You are so lucky to be right there watching those beautiful birds.

Marie said...

How exciting to have the owl fly across in front of your car in the dark! We had that happen one night on our way home when we lived in Texas. Love the shot of the greenshank eating the invertebrate, but my favorite shot is of the robin on the berry branch! beautiful!

Adam Jones said...

Wow, love the Swallows and the Kingfisher, but it's hard to beat an owl. Great shots.

mick said...

Again - a great series of birds. I wonder how much of a mess all those swallows make sitting all over the boats! I especially like the Robin. It looks like the robins in my picture books as a child. Most children's books back then seemed to come from the UK.

J Bonafilla said...

So glad that the barn owl lived to tell the tale of the almost-collision with your car. It would have been horrible for you (and him!) if you'd collided. I love the glowing colours of your kingfisher and the sleepy face of the tawny owl. He looks like he's dozing off although I daresay he's very aware of everything that's going on around him. Lovely photos, Phil. Thanks for sharing them. All the best, Bonny

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful and colorful series of great bird shots! My favorite is the tawny owl ~ so precious!

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Jen said...

Your Robin looks very different from ours. I wondered about the mess on the boats, too.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Great shot of the Tawny Owl. I know that Robins are quite common birds but they are certainly beautiful.

Indrani said...

Such lovely captures. I like the robin very much.

Fun60 said...

I doubt I would have spotted that owl.

Mary Cromer said...

Such a beautiful variety of birds. And oh to see so many Swallows all at once...love that. Now then, the Tawny Owl is masterfully done, everything about this images states you need to get a canvas made of it...wonderful.

Andrew Fulton said...

A fantastic post Phil... great images but the owl is superb.

Andrew Fulton said...

A fantastic post Phil... great images but the owl is superb.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful birds! I love the owl and the robin.

Breathtaking said...

So many precious birds, and great captures. The swallows on the moored boat is something I don't see every day, and the owl and the sweet red robin are beautiful images.

Christian Weiß said...

Great collection of birds and a great luck to see the owl.

bettyl-NZ said...

What fascinating birds you captured!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nice selection of birds. I remarked to Stewart how bird names in the UK are so economical--,In the US we have so many modifiers.you have Swallow, a goldfinch, Kingfisher, Robin, Kestrel, Blackbird, Buzzard etc. much easier on the memory. Sorry my iPhone is not letting me go back and correct typos.

Janet Shaw said...

Beautiful!

Janice Adcock said...

Phil, such detailed shots.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful birds all -- glad the swallows are back to where they should be. Would love to come across that owl.

The robin, kingfisher and goldfinch all make me especially envious because, although we see those birds ... at least ones with those names ... yours are so different and so much lovelier!

Thanks for the great pictures.

Chris Rohrer said...

Really nice birds you had discovered on this outing.er up It looks like a very productive day out. Loving those shots of the Lapwings. As for the Kingfisher and Owl......both tricky for different reasons. That Tawny is a stunner. I tried to snap a shot of Green Kingfisher which is the little metallic robot of the group. It would take off before I could get a pic! Super challenging! Anyhow thanks for sharing your outing as always. The word for today LINNET. Fun to say:)

eileeninmd said...

Phil, awesome collection of birds and photos.. I especially love the Owl and the Lapwings. Happy weekend!

Bob Bushell said...

A superb collection of birds, thanks.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

That owl....awesomeness!

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