Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mainly Swallows

A bright and breezy morning coupled with an incoming tide meant a quick look at Knott End for me. The packed-like sardines Oystercatchers numbered about 1200 today, with a single Sanderling and 12 Knot for company. Just 8 Eider on the sea and several Swallows on the move. 

There was a Darvic ringed Greylag wandering about the jetty, the bird totally ignoring passers-by, and if a long time ago it was ringed as a free-flying wild goose it seems to have taken a shine to Knott End and doesn’t look like going anywhere soon. It had a BTO ring on the right leg, number 515221 if anyone wishes to claim ownership. I took the picture with my tiny Panasonic, that’s how tame the goose was. 


At Fluke Hall lots of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Lapwing were scattered along the shore, too distant to count. Through the woodland drive all I could muster were Kestrel, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Grey Heron. Lane Ends next where a male Sparrowhawk took exception to a Kestrel hovering over the plantation and after battling it out for a minute or two the tiny hawk let the Kestrel have the territory. On the pools, 2 Little Grebe, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron.

Sparrowhawk and Kestrel

At Pilling Water I found 80+ Goldfinch, 2 Pied Wagtail, 4 Linnet and 6 Wheatears. After jumping around the shore rockery for ten minutes or so the gang of Wheatears had vanished, heading off in an unknown direction as I took my eyes off them - it’s what’s known as visible migration, or perhaps in this case, invisible migration. The wildfowlers pools were very quiet with just 3 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Cormorant and a wary Greenshank. 
There were a number of Swallows about, hawking insects over Broadfleet then taking it in turns to rest up in their customary sheltered spot on the sluice gates. I spent 30 minutes or so taking photographs of Swallows, so no apologies for featuring a number of new pics here. After all the Swallow (Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica) is a special bird which will soon wing its way back south and we won’t see them for some months, so let’s take a good look now. 










There’s more heavy downpours promised for tomorrow, but with luck there will be no rain so more news and pictures on Another Bird Blog. Today Another Bird Blog is linking up with World Bird Wednesday - see  here.


Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Phenomenal job on the swallows, especially the 2nd to last shot. Never heard of a greylag - you see the most interesting birds.

Anni said...

Swallows....I love their whole being. The colors, the size, the beautiful sheen they have, and especially their 'adoring' eyes.

Wonderful photos and super post.

Gary said...

Beautiful swallow shots!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

TexWisGirl said...

gorgeous little birds. your 2nd to last shot is PERFECT!

i stora drag said...

Very nice photos of the swallows!
This Summer I have seen so many swallows in my garden, that I never had seen there before. Today it was empty, maybe they moved south?
Greetings Pia

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitas capturas de la Golondrina.Saludos

Rohrerbot said...

Beautiful closeups of the swallows.....but the Sparrowhawk shots are wonderful. I'd love to see that here. Hope it clears out for you a bit so that you can get some more birding adventures in:)

Carole M. said...

you picked up some great shots of the swallows, not an easy target some times. Love your flycatcher header too.

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, great collection of birds from your outing. I have to say I love all the swallow shots. They are such cute birds too.

grammie g said...

Hey Phil..Hope you can excuse me for my absents, but I see you have been carrying on well without me and have many lovely comments, but none of harassment!! I have had my head under the hood of my Sears Riding lawn tractor trying to figure out why the blooming thing won't start,calling and complaining about my new storm door that I can see out the bottom of!! Plus a fever and headache for 3 days!1
I do love the awesome photos of those Sweet Swallows : }}!! An I wasn't aware that some birds such as the Wheateater formed "GANGS"; }
There are a lot of birds flocking up or maybe ganging up, hmm somehow that doesn't sound right...anyhow I am still around!!
Your absentee friend

Gary Jones said...

Great Swallow shots Phil, thanks
Regards Gary

mick said...

Wow! 1200 Oystercatchers is a huge number of birds all together. The Swallows are beautiful.I had forgotten that they migrate as well. It's hard to imagine a climate where most everything has to leave for the winter.

Findlay Wilde said...

The swallow pictures are fantastic. They won't stay still long enough for me to get a picture. From Findlay

Christian said...

You're right Phil: We need to enjoy the swallows while we can. Excellent images of them too.

Adam Jones said...

Looks like some of those Swallows will be taking their first long flights soon. Lovely shots.

La sonrisa de Hiperión said...

Estupendas siempre las cosas que nos dejas.

Saludos y un abrazo.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Love, Love, Love Swallows and so you must know how Happy, Happy, Happy these images made me. These are brilliant Phil...~

Andrew said...

Superb images....

Stewart M said...

Great set of pictures - I think that 3rd bird will be seeing Africa for the first time soon!

Thanks for linking to WBW - Stewart M - Australia

Neil said...

Great post.

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