Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Little Consolation

On the way home from Will’s I stopped off at a Little Owl box to look for activity in the locality. Wonderful, the owl sat close to the box which it often does recently. But it has done the same in previous years without continuing on to actually use the box for nesting. At least I got a few shots in the sunshine and made a mental note to check the box contents in a month or two. It was something of a consolation prize for a slow morning’s ringing. Close to there was also a Yellowhammer in full voice, not at all surprising given the events in the earlier part of the morning.

Little Owl


Little Owl

After the catch of over 30 Siskins 10 days ago coupled with Will’s count of 70/80 in the garden 5 days previously we hoped for a good catch today. But even in that short period things changed so much that it was not only the numbers of Siskin that declined, but also the other finches and Blackbirds. In the last week lots of species have begun to sing as they moved from wintering localities, things pointing to the real beginning of spring.

A three hour session saw us catch 12 birds only:

1 Dunnock
1 Robin
2 Goldfinch
3 Chaffinch
1 Siskin
1 Coal Tit
2 Blackbirds
1 Blue Tit

The finches now sport brighter spring colours, particularly the 3 adult male Chaffinch that we caught with blueing heads and the bright as a button female Goldfinch.

Chaffinch


Siskin


Goldfinch

Will showed me his new Siskin feeder recycled from an old biro and the HP bottle featured on this blog recently, and whilst the Siskin like it, I personally favour the brown liquid on my butties rather than nyger seed.

HPSauce?

Other birds seen this morning included about 8 Siskin in total, 25 Woodpigeons, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Treecreeper, Sparrowhawk, 12 Jackdaw and 2 Grey Heron.

Grey Heron

Will lives close to the Claughton heronry where an estate worker said recently he counted a dozen Grey Heron rather than the normal 40 or so at this time of year. I found a dead Grey Heron just last week which didn’t surprise me given the severity of our winter, so the news from Claughton could prove ominous for recent Grey Heron survival rates.


8 comments:

madibirder said...

Beautiful Owl. I find the potraits/close-ups of the birds really fascinating, you can see the gradation of colourtones plus superb details. Top notch Phi.

Craig said...

Shame about the catch, but stunning Little Owl pictures.

Craig

Phil said...

Thanks Craig and Madi. Glad you stopped by.

JRandSue said...

Outstanding photography,loved every image.
Your Siskin is a super stunner.
Brill Phil.
John.

Birdringal-andalus said...

Dear Phill. greetings.
Just one question: are arriving the Robins and Blackcaps to England already?
Here the Turdus philomelos case have already left all.
I sent a greeting.
Fernando.

S.C.E. said...

I used to see the occasional Little Owl in Penwortham way back, nice to know there are still some around.

Shame about the Herons, I'm sure they'll bounce back. I read this has been the coldest winter in the UK since the late 70's, I'm sure it will have affected bird populations.......

Unravel said...

Oh very cute Little Owl!
I don't usually see many owls. I've only seen 2 in 2 years of living in Japan. Guess I have very little luck with them.

Phil said...

Hola Fernando, Lots of British Robins do not leave for the winter, it is difficult to say when they arrive because many are here. Many wintering Robins in Spain are from north of UK in Fenno-Scandinavia. Blackcaps start to arrive in early April but we are seeing more Song Thrush this last week. Best regards.

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