Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Lunchtime Lament

Lunchtime and it’s raining and windy now, bang on midday, just as the BBC’s forecast promised, unlike their hint they might use my Little Owl picture for the end shots of the North West weather last weekend. As I sat waiting for the programme and a miserable claim to fame they dropped the weather, in fact cut the whole local news on two evenings in favour of the grunts, groans and over-hype that is Wimbledon fortnight. So Eno, I may not send any more pictures, even my Linnets.

That’s mainly what I ended up doing this morning in the few hours of bright skies, taking more pictures of Linnets. They are wary, a difficult species to approach; perhaps an inbuilt aversion to man from the nineteenth century when wild Linnets were kept in caged captivity as a domestic songbird and the population as a whole plummeted? They seem to be making a bit of a comeback this year - let's hope so.

Linnets have short broad bills which can’t cope with very big seeds or those difficult to extract so they feed mainly on plants whose seeds are attached to the stem, such as dock, chickweed or the plant shown below which is I think redshank/lady’s thumb. Linnets also pick up seeds from the ground, at Pilling this includes the tide wrack and seeds deposited at the base of the marshy grasses.






There were about 40 Linnets knocking about the tideline this morning, together with 14 Goldfinch and 5 Greenfinch, plus a gang of 10 to 12 Pied Wagtails and 2 Meadow Pipits again, just as a few days ago.


Pied Wagtail

I arrived fairly early this morning, just as the sun rose high enough to send the Barn Owl hurrying off from Pilling Water and then home towards Damside with the safety of its dark barn. Also at Damside the Kestrels seem near to fledging, with much wing stretching and noisy calls. The wildfowler’s pools held 3 Teal and a Common Sandpiper, with a small quota of Redshank, Lapwing and Oystercatcher.

At Lane Ends I counted 2 Willow Warbler, 7 Tufted Duck, 4 Little Grebe and that ultra-rarity, a Song Thrush but I don’t suppose it's a sighting that will set the pagers buzzing?

Song Thrush


Seasons said...

I am definitely going to check for some sound clips of the Linnet song. What a pretty little bird, and certainly deserving of freedom. The Goldfinch is like a montage, perched on a branch. Thanks for sharing all these pictures, your interest in birds, and your objective evaluation of the Wimbledon. Strawberries and cream anyone???

Tim James said...

Sorry about the BBC, but the second Linnet shot is divine.

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...in a rare mood are we big buddy!! hahah!!
Darn those racket flaying fools..why do they have to occupy all TV time...as if we all loved tennis!!
That's a "WISE" choose for a header..you know as in Owl!! lol
Interesting about the Linnet...and some as the Brits would say "cracking shots"!!
As always : } Grace
Love that last liner!!

Pete Woodruff said...

Brilliant pics of- in particular - Linnets Phil.

Keep up the good work but....make sure your Conder Green permit is up to date!

JRandSue said...

Cracking set of images,hard to pick a winner.
Love them all,superb.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The Linnets are extrodinary and very beautiful entries Phil. So sorry about the weather clip and Little Owl, but it certainly looks amazing standing atop as your new banner~ Have a great eve~

Gallicissa said...

I haven't come across Linnets featured blogs that I visit from your part of the world. I I checked out its song, and I found it pretty.

Birding Ecosse said...

Nice studies of Linnets Phil.

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