Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It’s Better Than Watching Paint Dry.

A bright and breezy morning saw me off to Pilling looking for morning hunting Barn Owls, whereby it didn’t take long to find one just beyond Burned House Lane, but unfortunately the owl was flying away from me then inland towards a building that always looks owlish. Down Lambs Lane and Fluke Hall Lane I counted at least 10 roadside Whitethroats and several Greenfinches before I came upon the second Barn Owl hunting the rough pasture and ditches. It was a pretty wary one this Barn Owl and as it watched me the bird allowed one shot before floating off into the morning light.

Barn Owl



The owl stayed out on the fields so I drove up via Damside and the Kestrel pair and then on to Lane Ends, for the now standard trio of Reed Warbler, Blackcap and Jay with the gang of 15/20 resident Blackbirds.


I’d walked a few yards towards Pilling Water when I saw a Little Egret flying across the marsh, the egrets absent from here for a few months only with their autumn return now guaranteed in late June and early July. Also out on the distant marsh were 3 Grey Heron, but so common have the egrets become, in just a few short weeks they will easily outnumber the herons.

When I got to Pilling Water I could still see the distant Barn Owl towards Fluke, but I settled down on the stile to watch around me. Just one Swift this morning with less than 10 each of House Martin and Swallow, but the hirundines are still sufficiently numerous in the village. There was a flock of 30/40 noisy Starlings around the wildfowler’s pools but they all suddenly quietened then spooked off as a tiny male Sparrowhawk came from nowhere to take a hapless Starling. Carrying the Starling the hawk flew into the trees to dissect its meal but within five minutes it had finished the feed and then circled around again before flying off and up Pilling Water to an accompaniment of twittering hirundines.

I looked for Wheatears, returnees due any day along the wall but instead found 2 Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail, 24 Linnet, 11 Goldfinch, 4 House Sparrow and 3 Greenfinch. Waders along the outflow and distant sand included 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 18 Redshank, 10 Oystercatcher and 24 Curlew.


As I wandered along the Redshanks with the undetectable, ditch hugging youngsters gave me the customary guard of honour but noisy welcome; I returned the compliment and gave them the routine camera treatment for a few minutes then left them in peace.



Well it may be a quiet time of year for birding but if I’d stayed at home painting the gates I don’t think I would have had nearly as much fun; in any case there’s always tomorrow for a few chores.


Stu said...

You're getting some wonderful BIF shots Phil, the Owl is outstanding.

Paco Sales said...

Unas excelentes fotos Phil, pero sin duda me quedo con el vuelo del buho, es genial, un abrazo amigo

eileeninmd said...

Great birds and post, Phil! I love the barn owl and I would love to see one myself.

eileeninmd said...

Great birds and post, Phil! I love the barn owl and I would love to see one myself.

Pete Woodruff said...

I painted a gate and a front door not that long ago, KT had to remind me what a paint brush looked like to do the job which really hurt me.

Enjoyed reading your report Phil.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I am always so impressed by the fact, that you are able to view Owls during the daylight hours, or is it that it is extremely early morning when you photograph them? Around here, you hardly see an owl of any sort during the day light, but I like it when I do. The Redshanks are certainly looking swell!

grammie g said...

Hey Phiol...I want to know who comes up with those names lanes and drives....Burnt house lane??? What's with that!! lol
Well no matter where you go you always have some interesting tales and great photos to share...and yes it is better than setting and watching paint dry.....not that I have every done that!!
Love that Owl shot...that's a real beauty!!

Seasons said...

Some pictures are just eye catching - The Barn owl. He turned his head in mid-flight at just the right moment. It's a keeper!

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