Wednesday, June 18, 2014

That Elusive Owl

Regular blog readers may remember the Little Owl on the garden fence at daughter Joanne’s home. 

The owl still makes regular but unpredictable appearances except on the two or three occasions a week Sue and I go round to let Holly the black labrador outside for her essential requirements.  I’ve still to get my 400mm properly trained onto the elusive owl, with the best garden bird I could manage a Mallard. 

So Joanne borrowed my old Canon and bog standard 300mm lens then took some photographs. The owl seems to be a juvenile of the year judging by the eye colour and hint of downy feathers still visible on its breast. Looks like Joanne doesn’t need any photography lessons from Dad? 

Little Owl

Little Owl


I was out Conder Green way this morning where the most obvious change was the increase in numbers of Little Egrets to nine birds now that their breeding season is over. Two were feeding in the roadside creek when a loose party of seven arrived from the north to drop into the area of the pool. The birds fed for a while before scattering off in various directions and over towards the Lancaster canal which is located just over the back of the pool. 

Little Egret

Two Grey Herons were about the creeks and the pool, one lording it over the marsh, stopping to preen and have a good old scratch. 

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

No variation with the waders and wildfowl - 1 Little Grebe, 2 Wigeon, 10 Tufted Duck, 12 Shelduck, 55 Redshank, 15 Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew. 

The numbers of passerines varies little at the moment with 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat and 1 Meadow Pipit still in song from the marsh and hedgerow, together with brief snatches of Chiffchaff from the car park. Otherwise, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 6 Linnet, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 Greenfinch and more than 1 Robin. I’m pretty sure the juvenile Robin had two legs, but the photo looks like there was just one. 


At Glasson a Great Crested Grebe was new on the water to join with a handful of Coot, Mallard and Tufted Duck. I watched a Lesser Black-Backed Gull have breakfast, a dead fish left behind by the weekend anglers. Some birds just have no table manners do they?

Great Crested Grebe

 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Join Another Bird Blog very soon for more birds, elusive or not. 

Linking today with Theresa's Run A Round Ranch .


Marie said...

The owl is lovely! And great photos of the other birds as well. Such a nice post!

Russell Jenkins said...

What splendid pictures of that darling Little Owl. I wish I had one on our garden fence. I just had a similar lunch to the gull but I hope no-one took pictures of me devouring it.

David Gascoigne said...

It always amazes me just how large a hunk of food a gull can swallow. My wife and I were once at the ferry terminal at Tswassan, BC while waiting to leave for Vancouver, and we watched a Glaucous-winged Gull with an enormous starfish in its mouth, sticking out well beyond either side of its bill. We assume that powerful gastric juices were working on the most inwards part, for every so often it would gulp and a little more would disappear until finally it was all gone! I think you should give it a try with a whole salmon, Phil and let us know how it works!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, your daughter got some awesome shots of her Little Owl. It is adorable.. I love the egret and heron and another favorite is the Great Crested Grebe! Happy birding and have a great day!

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi the Little Owl is gorgeous and the shots of the great Crested Grebe with its reflection is amazing. Also like the Heron and Egret.

Kate said...

You photographed those birds remarkably well!

TexWisGirl said...

wow! that gull is chunking down that meal! loved all the beautiful shots - including those from your daughter! thank you (both)! and thanks for linking in!

Karen S. said...

I especially enjoy seeing owls! What lovely photos you shared. We got to meet an owl named Shakespeare up close and personal last week!

Karen said...

Terrific owl shots. And gee, that gull is a guts! Great shots as always!

Debby Ray said...

All of your photos are truly wonderful. There is an owl in the woods by my house that I would love to be able to get a shot of...probably won't happen though :)

ellen b. said...

What amazing captures of these birds in the wild. Love them all.

Tanya Breese said...

wow, they are all impressive!

Christian Perrin said...

Looks like photography talent runs in the family - those are some lovely Little Owl photos!

Interesting to see a few birds we also get in Australia - the Little Egret and Great Crested Grebe. Both of those are neither rare nor common here, just simply outnumbered by the more successful members of their respective families.

I love that Grey Heron 'Lord of the Marsh' shot you've got there, and the greedy Gull photo made me laugh, especially as it is making eye contact the whole time and still going about its gluttony anyway.

Felicia said...

wonderful bird captures, the owl is beautiful.

Ida said...

That owl is so cute!
Some wonderful bird shots here too. The Robin does appear as if it's only got one leg. Loved the Herons.

Mary Cromer said...

Making a visit to my friends today and saw your new header image...wonderful Phil! Your daughter did a fine job getting those Little Owl photo snaps and what a sweet face it has, those feathers look so soft and pristine. The Robin and Grebe are such beauties. When I saw the Gull taking down that meal, I could hardly believe it, that is one big catch and probably not even done at that point. Hope you are doing well. I am making my way, one day at a time. Have a marvelous weekend~

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

A very successful photo session.
The Little Owl is so beautiful :-)
Have a nice day :-)

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Wonderful photos - especially the owl and the gluttonous gull! Must be hard to fly after that lunch! - Karen

Jenny said...

It's nice to see your blog. Love the owl on the fence. xo Jenny

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