Sunday, April 7, 2013

Owls About And Not Much Else

The outside temperature read minus 1 °C again, and as I took the frost guard off the windscreen the local Tawny Owls were busy making a fair old din. They called away to each other, tempting me to go and take a look, but it was too dark. Anyway I’ve tried it before and they just fly to their other spots where they continue their canoodling duet. 

Through Hambleton village a Little Owl flew across the highway ahead of the car and towards the darkness on the other side of the road. I was on the way out to the moss again hoping to kick off the migrant year with a Chiffchaff, maybe even a Willow Warbler. As I walked into the plantation I could see the local Barn Owl plugging away again in the distance but when I got back to the car the owl was gone, hopefully back to the barn with a vole or two from the frosty fields. 

Don’t forget to “click the pics” for a light box show, I think Blogger have sorted the problem for now. 

Barn Owl

I caught the Chiffchaff but not much else during an extremely quiet couple of hours. Just seven birds caught from the bare, leafless and insect free plantation - 2 Goldfinch with singles of Brambling, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Robin and Blue Tit, all from the feeding station. 


Of over 400 Bramblings ringed by the ringing group in almost thirty years today’s is only the second one ringed in the month of April and an indicator of how Bramblings are very late in returning north this year. 



The birding was equally as quiet as the ringing, almost non-existent in fact with 4 Fieldfares and similar numbers of Meadow Pipits high overhead in the clear morning sky the only real signs of bird movement. Otherwise all was local stuff once again with 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 2 Mistle Thrush, 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 3 Corn Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer, 15 Tree Sparrow and 40+ Curlew. 

On the way home I stopped to check out the Little Owl pair where I found them both on the lookout for daylight food, and like me puffed up against the still cold air. 

Little Owl

I had to stop the car on the way home when the mobile rang from a lady in Knott End who’d seen a single Waxwing in gardens near the promenade. 


I thanked the lady for the info but there was no time for a Waxwing twitch after I’d spent a good fifteen minutes with the owls. I needed to get home, sort the pictures and grab a bite to eat myself - a birder’s work is never done. 

Log in soon for more news and views and find out if the Little Owls pics got sorted.In the meantime take a look at Stewart's Photo Gallery on the other side of the world down in Aussie.


Carole M. said...

well owls would be great on my list! I love your owl in flight and the little owl sitting. Thanks for jumping out of bed so early in the cold :)!

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...What's with that light box one post it's working the next gone!!
I think they like jerking our chain!

Boy I never get tired of seeing those Owls especially that Barn Owl..what I want is to see one myself! : (
What's with that one Waxwings,must have been some others never saw one alone!!
1 Celsius around 33 degrees ??
I need to learn that stuff!!
Great shots my friend!!

Wally Jones said...

Great post with superb photographs - which, of course, for you, is "normal"!
Interesting record for the Brambling. Just another indication of your late Spring - as if you didn't already know! BRRR!
I'm going on four days of not being birding - withdrawal symptoms are setting in.......

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Once again, the photos are stellar. That puffed up owl is so sweet!

Modesto Viegas said...

Very good post!!!

TexWisGirl said...

oh, that owl!!! delightful!

HansHB said...

Great serie of photos!
Well done!

Carletta said...

All wonderful captures!
I really like the light on the wing of the owl in the first shot and that little owl is as cute as can be.
Nice work as always Phil!

Rajesh said...

Very cute little birds.

mick said...

All great bird photos and I admire the dedication you show in going birding in those horrible temperatures! No wonder all the little birds are hesitant about returning north to temperatures like you describe!

She Who Carries Camera said...

Brilliant photos! I would love to be able to hold those little guys in my hand!

Arija said...

I'd be happy just to see an owl and get a shoot at it.

CabinGirl said...

Beautiful photos, Phil! Love the Little Owl - appears to be aptly named :-)

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...Yes I know I have already been here, but I posted the rest of
"MY" : ) "Bohemian Waxwings"for WBW!!
Your possessive friend ; )

Neil said...

Great series.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

All so sweet and lovely and then....Little Owl and the Waxwing...too die for, those images, those faces, those feathers, the beauty of them is just so outstanding...made my morning's first smile. Thank you Phil~

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