Sunday, September 4, 2016

Short Saturday

On Saturday morning I was back home for 9am after being rained off. The weather forecast was spot on but left me a two hour slot for a spot of birding. 

Is this getting familiar to readers? Barn Owls aren’t ten a penny around here, honest. It’s just that my route north through Hambleton and Out Rawcliffe takes me past a Barn Owl location where once again a pair of owls were out hunting. I took a distance shot and then left the two looking for breakfast. 

Barn Owl

I was hoping to see the recent Marsh Harriers out on the flooded moss but there was no sign of them. As autumn migrants the harriers may have moved on already and found a more productive feeding location. 

I made do with 3 Buzzards and several Carrion Crows which didn’t venture far. They mainly sat along the fence lines apparently waiting for a meal to show nearby rather than taking to the air to find one. 

Carrion Crow and Buzzard

The water level of flooded area had dropped a little with fewer species than a few days ago. A number of Swallows mobbed a passing Sparrowhawk as the raptor scattered the flock of feeding Starlings. A good mix of birds followed with 180 Starling, 40 Lapwing, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 Grey Heron, 40+ Swallows and 2 Snipe.

Common Snipe never stray far from their customary areas of living. They are most often found in areas such as brackish and fresh marshlands, grassy cover, rich moist soils, and edges of lakes, rivers, and swamps where they can easily hide if need be. These are areas that are commonly open and are low enough for them to become almost invisible in vegetation where they can be incredibly hard to spot.

Snipe
 
That left me an hour at Conder Green where from the west the sky quickly turned a grey shade of grey with rain in the offing.

Little Grebes continue to hide from prying eyes but I managed to locate seventeen again before they floated off to the island margins. I also found 24 Teal and 3 Wigeon. A Kingfisher sat briefly on the nearest island before it too did a disappearing trick. Wader counts were pretty good with 230+ Lapwings, 30 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Snipe. 

There a good flock of Goldfinch on the marsh whereby my count of 80+ is the best so far this autumn. As we might expect at this time of year, approximately 90% of the Goldfinch appeared to be  juveniles. Otherwise - 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Little Egret and a handful of Linnets. 

Goldfinch

An hour or two that’s all but Barn Owls, Kingfishers and Buzzards can never be discounted can they?

20 comments:

Linda said...

Another beautiful series, Phil! I feel as though I want to reach out and touch that precious little finch! :)

Margaret Adamson said...

You did well in such a short time birding. Love the Snipe shot

Stewart M said...

Too many Barn Owl are never enough!

I saw one on the last evening of my last family trip back to the UK - much excitement all around!

Will be back in 2017 - so many see some more this time!

Cheers - Stewart M - Just back in Melbourne!

David Gascoigne said...

Dear Barn Owl Flaunter: Most of us would be very happy at ten a pound let alone ten a penny! I think we all have a little twinge of envy every time we see your frequent pictures.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, I am a little envious of your Barn Owl sightings. You have posted about two of my favorite birds, the owl and the snipe. Great photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Jill Morgenstern said...

Oh those are pretty ones! I like the flying picture!

Barb said...

I would love to see an Owl in person. Interesting facts about the Snipe.

Bill Nicholls said...

Nice work Phil. I've seen crows chaseing Kites round here quite offten but if you have a look at this blog I did a while ago you can see a kite flipping round on a crow.

Bill Nicholls said...

Might want the link
http://spudsdailyphoto.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/kites-buzzards.html

Fun60 said...

Another terrific series of photos.

carol l mckenna said...

You take the most wonderful bird photos ~ Love the owls!

Wishing you smooth sailing days ~ ^_^

NC Sue said...

The barn owl is gorgeous, isn't he?
Thanks for sharing all of these marvelous shots at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/09/orchids-other-worldly.html

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Your photos are beautiful as usual. Your walks are so productive

Stuart Price said...

Always nice to see a Barn Owl..........

Phyllis Oller said...

Loving your owl shot on the fence! Such a fluffy head ,phyllis

Kay L. Davies said...

Wishing I might have time to spot one bird at least while I'm in your neck of the woods, Phil, but methinks there will barely be time for lunch. On the other hand, I could be wrong...it happens often.
Best to you, and Sue, too, but before I forget, my favourite photo today: the snipe.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That's a lot of birds in a short time Phil. Thanks as always for your helpful comments on my blog (latest one was more information on the Latin names).... I only wish I had more pictures of birds so you could help me learn about them. Someday soon....

Mary Cromer said...

Oh the Carrion Crow and Buzzard image is fabulous Phil...I love when two species are caught in the same frame like that~

Mandy 'n' Justin said...

I love the image of the carrion crow and buzzard flying. Was that just good timing? The bottom goldfinch is also lovely. :)

Jarek said...

Magnificent shots of that owl

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