Monday, June 6, 2011

Taking Stock

It’s a short update today after Will and I went to Out Rawcliffe to check out a few Stock Dove nest boxes. In the first box where we expected to find young doves a week or more old, the box was now empty, predated of the small young by an unknown bird or animal. In a nearby natural tree cavity a second Stock Dove nest held broken, probably predated eggs. Of two other boxes, one had evidence of fledged Tree Sparrows and the other a Great Tit nest tucked neatly in the corner of the large box. Oh well we drew a blank, but as we like to say, “If you don’t try you don’t get!”

Will - “Boxing”

As we drove past a nearby wood we both heard alarm calling Tree Sparrows and Chaffinches, so went to investigate the possibility of young Tawny Owls. We didn’t find any owlets, just an adult Tawny that watched us from high in the dappled shade of the canopy.

Tawny Owl

Tree Sparrow


In the wood Will pointed out a couple of deer sleeping “beds”, flattened vegetation in the woodland floor, then close by we found the carcass of a long dead Roe Deer where it probably lay down one night and inexplicably died.

Roe Deer

Roe Deer

In contrast to many of our local birds Brown Hares seem to be doing rather well at the moment, and whilst I haven’t made any counts, suffice to say they are plentiful and now is a good time to get a few pictures. And although the countryside is devoid of Grey Partridge, there’s plenty of the red-legged variety happy to pose for a picture.

Brown Hare

Red-legged Partridge

Other birds seen on our little foray: 2 Yellowhammer, 3 Buzzard, 2 Oystercatcher, 30 Lapwing, a Blackbird on 5 eggs high in the barn, and 1 Kestrel. Will remarked that he hadn’t seen many Kestrels about this spring. After a little recollection of birds I’d seen in recent months I had to agree, Kestrels are rather scarce this year so maybe it’s another species which suffered from last winter’s long frozen periods; just as well I archived a few pictures when more Kestrels were about.



Paco Sales said...

Espero que en otros nidos haya más suerte y encontreis vida en su interior, unas bellísimas fotos, como me gusta la de la perdíz, excelente trabajo el que realizais, un abrazo Phil said...

Unique photos.... :)))

Seasons said...

A funny thought occured...the Chaffinch looks like a peach with wings. Love the pictures of the many critters, but owls are always a favorite among birds. The panoramic view of the Roe Deer is very appealing. Thanks again!

Larry said...

Great photos Phil! I love that Tawny Owl! We seem to be having an off year for songbirds here in California too. Odd weather I believe is the cause. Late nesting birds should be alright but I've had several tragedies with earlier nest sites.

The Kestrel photo is absolutely gorgeous!

Peter Fearon said...

We have only ringed six Kestrel pullis so far this year, with another four nests still on eggs or with small young. That's pretty late wouldn't you say?

I think that the cold weather snap in December must have taken a toll on the population, but that doesn't explain the late broods.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Splendid Phil! Sorry the nest boxes were empty for the most part, but you got some great images here!
I have 2 nest boxes, that not one bird has even chosen to use yet;(
The Hares are amazing looking!

grammie g said...

Hey Phil..Whats up with that Will bird nver saw one like that ... our is that a birds nest on Will's head...don't tell I said that...I know your going to though..rat!!
You two look like you have to much fun !!
I have got to look up some information on the Kestrel> He looks so much like the bird I havent' been able to get a good look at that has been haunting the dickens out of the birds nests and even saw him with a baby bird in his claws!!
He is quite small and very rusty colored on his back and underside and does not fly like a hawk. I haven't been able to get a picture that is good enough to figure out what it is!
Fiber-frolic haha coming soon!!

Ari said...

As usual Phil, love every bit of your blog especially your pics!

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