Thursday, March 3, 2016

More Owls

I was tempted to do a spot of ringing at Oakenclough but it was just a little too breezy from the north and the forecast was less than perfect with “showers” which might be snowy. In any case it would be a solo effort and a bit of a chore while Andy is still sunning himself in Morocco. 

So I did a food drop only while noting a single Lesser Redpoll and still good numbers of Chaffinch and Goldfinch about the feeders and a couple of Siskin “over”. 

Goldfinch

Lesser Redpoll

I drove back to the coast via Garstang and landed up at Cockerham and then Conder Green. The pool and creeks hold few bird surprises now as we wait for spring to arrive with the early migrants. Around the pool and in the tidal creeks – a Reed Bunting in song, 2 Little Grebe, 45 Wigeon, 18 Shelduck, 8 Oystercatcher, 2 Tufted Duck, 40 Curlew, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Pied Wagtail and a handful of both Chaffinch and Goldfinch. Both Redshank and Teal numbers may be down with respective scores of 28 and 30. 

Turned 0900 and in broad daylight arrived yet another Barn Owl, probably the regular one which is seen almost daily now and has a winter roost nearby. The owl was busily hunting both the inner and outer marshes and while I didn’t see it catch any prey it was out of sight for minutes at a time. After a while it flew back towards its daytime hideaway. 

Barn Owl

At Braides there was a Buzzard searching the rough grass, on the flood 30 or more Lapwings plus a couple of Skylarks on fence posts. Skylarks were in song today with a number of Lapwings showing territorial behaviour through snatches of aerial display. There was nothing doing through Cockerham/Pilling and just a couple of Linnets at Wrampool with no sign of any Stonechats. 

It was now turned 1030 and as I drove through Pilling village a Barn Owl flew directly over the car and out of sight into a building complex on the left. In reading local web sites and blogs in the past week or two it is remarkable but also worrying how many Barn Owls are being seen during daylight hours. Good that there seem to be numbers around but not good that they are all obviously having difficulty in surviving these lean times by spending inordinate amounts of time searching for food. The birds are also exposing themselves to the extra risks posed by dodging busier daytime traffic. 

Barn Owl

I was on my way across the mosses of Pilling and Out Rawcliffe. I stopped to watch a gang of Roe Deer saunter into a small copse and simply melt into the trees and out of sight. Roe Deer are smaller than many people might imagine – look at their size in comparison with the bales of fodder. 

Roe Deer

I found a good selection birds feeding in the stubble fields of the mossland – 80 Fieldfare, 80 Linnet, 40+ Corn Bunting, 21 Yellowhammer, 20 Chaffinch, 10 Reed Bunting, 3 Song Thrush and 1 Grey Heron. Accompanying raptors were noted as 2 Buzzard and 2 Kestrel. 

Yellowhammer

As on the coast an hour or two before both Skylarks and Lapwings were in display mode with pairs of Oystercatchers noted at three or more locations. There’s snow forecast for the weekend. But come rain or shine Another Bird Blog will hopefully bring, news, views and birds. Log in again soon.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday and to Run A Round Ranch.


21 comments:

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

I love all the birds .. Have a good weekend

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, gorgeous birds and awesome photos. Again, the Barn owl is a favorite. I read this morning that a Euro Goldfinch has appeared at a feeder in Delaware City, Delaware. They are not sure if it is an escapee though. I would love to see the Goldfinch, they are beautiful. Happy Birding, enjoy your day and weekend ahead!

"E." "Beth" Edwards said...

gorgeous owl. what amazing colors. ( :
happy fencing.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil!:) You are getting some awesome shots of Owls, and share many beautiful birds today. The Goldfinch is perhaps my favourite, what a beautiful bird to see at your feeders.I never noticed those six white marks on the wing feathers before, but then I don't often see a back image.

Ida said...

Awesome owl shot on the fence post. Cool to see the Roe deer and that finch is so unusual looking. A Gold Finch here in WA state is yellow.

Jo said...

Hi Phil, what beautiful photos as always! Happy birding.

David Gascoigne said...

As you point out, Phil, it's a mixed blessing seeing those Barn Owls so frequently, almost predictably it seems. I sure hope they can survive these lean times.

TexWisGirl said...

love your perfect fence-sitter! enjoyed the deer sighting, too!

Rose said...

These are wonderful shots! so crisp and clear.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Phil - I'm back again!
Lovely photo's of the birds and owl, but I especially like the roe deer. They always seem such inquisitive but nervous animals to me - don't know if they are?

Hope you have a good weekend - not sure if you will get some snow?

All the best Jan

Breathtaking said...

Phil, the park is situated at about !000m above sea level in Northern Portugal. The trees are Cork Oak, and have a naturally knobbly bark, but their contortions are probably due to weather conditions rather than the Quercus robar species. In hindsight it would have been more interesting had I mentioned this on my post,....might still do!:)

jandi said...

wonderful shots! i especially like the one of the beautiful barn owl in flight! have a beautiful weekend!

Margaret Adamson said...

that was an obliging Barn Owl Lovely shots of the small birds Phil. Glorious reflection shots. Have a wonderful weekend.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, great birds and photos! Just stopping back to say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Wow....once again MAGNIFICENT Phil!!

Beautiful images. You manage to capture them all perfectly, each and every time!

Lea said...

Each time I see photos of the Goldfinches there in the UK, I am amazed at their colors! Beautiful birds!

June Caedmon said...

Lovely to see the owls again, I was wondering at so many being out during the daylight hours. I hope the hunting improves for them. Those goldfinches are a delight!

Marie C said...

I can't get over those beautiful goldfinches! And the barn owls are wonderful!

sandyland said...

I never saw goldfinches in that coloration - look like ?British military coats form 1700's

carol l mckenna said...

Absolutely wonderful bird photography and love the small deer ~ You must have great lenses on your camera ~ and you have a creative eye ~

Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

Mary Cromer said...

What great images and my favorites are of the Barn Owl, especially the one resting on the fence post...so very beautiful~

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