Saturday, March 6, 2010

Change Tack

Today at Out Rawcliffe I altered my approach and looked out for singing birds and signs of spring rather than looking for wintering birds and winter flocks.

The Little Owl was there again, the usual spot. So although that's three times this week to take their portraits, who could resist another one even if this bird did insist on hiding partially behind a branch?

Little Owl

Just seconds after taking the owl’s portrait a male Sparrowhawk flashed over the hedgerow in front of me and out of sight as normal but at least it means they are about the farm somewhere.

Down on the moss scattered about the farm I counted 4 Corn Buntings and their “jangling keys” song, but they weren’t all thinking of spring song as a flock of 10 fed around some discarded barley near the barn, others waiting for me to clear off. Such a wary species, but good to get a few pictures. There was also a pretty accommodating Pied Wagtail finding food here.

Corn Bunting

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

I walked the track towards Nateby and clocked up 8 pairs of Grey Partridge, 11 singing Chaffinch, 2 drumming Great-spotted Woodpeckers, 2 singing Yellowhammers, Tree Sparrows at 3 nest boxes and 4 Buzzards circling over the woods, mewing and displaying. Then flocks of 17 Linnets and 7 Goldfinch with 2 singing Skylarks.

From the fir wood I flushed a Peregrine from the tree tops but the crows also saw it and voiced their disapproval. Nailed to a tree the gamekeepers had shown their own displeasure of Carrion Crows – “to discourage the others” as they say.

Gamekeeper’s Warning

Towards the Conifer Copse

Through the Conifer Copse

I found a few lingering Yellowhammers and Tree Sparrows at the now run down feeding station, as well as an expectant Robin and a bunch of Roe Deer, now more tolerant since the shooting season ended.


Roe Deer

Perhaps as important as the things I saw this morning were the things I didn’t see: very few Wrens, not many Robins, 1 Song Thrush but about 8/10 Blackbirds, so perhaps a bit early to say the winter had a devastating effect but we’ll see.


Müge Tekil said...

Very nice photos, but it is horrible what the gamekeepers did to that poor crow!

kirstallcreatures said...

Lovely Little Owl pic, quite right who could resist. L

Rid said...

Nice little owl image, I too have had the "branch in the way" problem......on more occasions than I can remember!!

madibirder said...

Brilliant shot of the Robin. Looks like she's due anytime now?

S.C.E. said...

Corn Buntings: a nice blast from the past.......very nice photos too......

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