Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Thursday Trip

I missed out on a ringing session yesterday because the car was in for service. Andy did OK without my help by way of another 6 Lesser Redpolls, 6 Willow Warblers, a Jay and a Tree Pipit – nice. His haul included two birds ringed elsewhere, a Willow Warbler with ring string HPH etc and the third previously ringed Lesser Redpoll of the year, this one beginning D948 etc. 

With the car back on song I set off with birding this morning with the intention of getting a few new images for the blog. Things carried on as before as yet another Barn Owl appeared over the moss road just as the sun rose above the horizon. It’s weird how the same bird can look completely different with identical camera settings, just fifteen minutes apart but with differing light and distance to the subject. 

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

By the time I reached Braides Farm the sun was well up in the sky with the resident Buzzard warming up on the fence. There are Lapwings and Oystercatchers on eggs and displaying Redshank and none of them took kindly to the Buzzard, the Lapwings in particular dive bombing the unconcerned hawk. There are Skylarks on territory here too, possibly with one or two early nests. 

Buzzard and Lapwing

Skylark

It was a cold morning with the dash displaying a “possible ice” warning and a temperature of barely 4°C by the time I reached Conder Green. Little wonder then that hirundines were hard to come by with singles only of both Sand Martin and Swallow. On the pool and in the creeks – 6 pairs of Oystercatcher, 20+ Redshank, 12 Shelduck, 6 Tufted Duck, 3 Teal, 2 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron and singles of Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank. The wintering Spotted Redshank is now turning noticeably dark and well on the way to its black summer plumage. It keeps a safe distance from roadside viewing spot and hardly ever comes closer than 70 metres range. 

Spotted Redshank

A walk along the old railway found summer visitors in the shape of at least 3 Willow Warblers together with the more regular fare of 10+ Linnet, 8+ Goldfinch, 6/8 Chaffinch, 4 Greenfinch, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Meadow Pipit and 2 Pied Wagtail. A male Pied Wagtail was collecting nest material and flew with his prize towards the unfinished roadside constructions where there are countless nooks and crannies to hide a nest. 

Chaffinch

House Sparrows scattered from the bridge at Jeremy Lane where a Blackcap was in song in the trees below the bridge. It’s a regular spot to hear the loud and unmistakeable warble of a Blackcap, and if I’d bothered to walk the path there would be a Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler or two. Further along the lane I found 2 Wheatears using the fence line, a Whitethroat in song, a dandy-looking Reed Bunting staking out a claim and a Chaffinch bursting forth. 

Reed Bunting

 Chaffinch

It was a productive morning of birding. There will be more soon on Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to Anni's BlogEileeen's Saturday and Run A Round Ranch in Texas.


23 comments:

Chris Rohrer said...

Nice collection. The Reed Bunting is really interesting. My car needs to go in soon as well. I just hate taking my free time off to sit in the shop:) Love your Barn Owl shots!

David Gascoigne said...

It's interesting that you mention the phenomenon of different light and different angles seemingly transforming a bird into a different species. I have a book somewhere where they illustrate this very point by photographing shorebirds in full daylight, overcast, backlit by the sun and so on. Small peeps in non-breeding plumage need careful attention under ideal conditions and apparent differences caused by varying light conditions can lead to misidentification very easily. As always, your blog raises interesting points and is much more than a list of the birds you have seen.

TexWisGirl said...

these are just beautiful. just love your owl fence-sitters! :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The owl alone would make me more than delighted. I wish we had chaffinches here.

Chandra@GreenComotion said...

Superb photos of the birds, fence, and others, Phil!
Have a Happy Day!!
Peace :)

Linda said...

Such a lovely assortment, Phil, and I absolutely love your barn owl header!

Margaret Adamson said...

Fabulous Owl shots adn that is a very sturdy fence.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Great shots, and you did indeed have a lovely morning for bird watching. I'm jealous of the owls...I so rarely see them here.

eileeninmd said...

Hello PHil, wonderful collection of birds. The barn owl shots are my favorite. Great sighting, happy birding.

Have a happy weekend!

Wally Jones said...

Kudos for even going outside in such frigid conditions!

(Okay, okay, I'm only sarcastic because it's been so long since I've visited you here I thought you wouldn't recognize me without a characteristic dash of humor from a sub-tropics dweller.)

As others have noted, the new header photo is stunning! And what a great illustration of how just a few minutes can change the whole appearance of an image, even though no technical camera changes were made.

Our first year living in Europe was in a house adjacent to a field where we had wonderful views each spring of courting Skylarks. That sharply ascending flight, the incredible song, the plunge toward earth - simply awe-inspiring!

This week is the first birding we've been able to accomplish since the first of March so our blogging effort has been quite sparse. Hope to get back in the field regularly soon.

Take care, my friend, and try to stay reasonably warm!

Ida said...

Loving all your birds (Especially the Owls) - I like the 2nd shot with the light shining on the owl. Lots of wonderful birds to view here and how neat that some actually pose on fence posts for you.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, your new header of the Barn Owl is awesome. I loved all the birds in this post. Great outing. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful and lovely birds.

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful series of bird photography ~ love the owl in all images ~

Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's my dream to see an owl this year and get a good photo! What a neat sighting! Enjoy your weekend!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Nice shots, Phil. Someday a Barn Owl will pose for me, too, right?
~

Sandy Kessler said...

wonderful

Latane Barton said...

That's such a pretty collection of birds. It was nice to see them all.

Anni said...

I love the chaffinch in song!! And I'm quite jealous that you see a barn owl so often, and it seems to stop life just to pose for you. Envious, I am.

Your 'new' car was in for service already? [kidding!!!] Stop racing the engine when you go birding...it's hard on Ferarris y'know. LOL


Thanks for stopping by to add your post link to today's I'd Rather B Birdin' linking tool. Much appreciated as always.

Lowcarb team member said...

Sometimes a car needs a little TLC ... it's what usually keeps them running smoothly!

A lovely selection of shots, my favourites are the Skylark and Chaffinch, I just like their markings.

All the best Jan

Marie C said...

That barn owl just thrills me to death! Lovely Redshank in the cold, cold water!

Fun60 said...

As always it is the barn owl that steals the show for me.

Christian Weiß said...

The barn owl is wonderful, great collection.

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