Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hare Today - Sorry

28th April. This was the sight that greeted me on the driveway. Not the most enticing start to a spring morning. 

Spring in Lancashire

Birders don’t give up that easily. I scraped the screen and set off over the moss roads. Needless to say there was a hunting Barn Owl but I’ve so many Barn Owl pictures of late that I clicked a few shots and then carried on driving. 

Barn Owl

At Wrampool Creek the farmer has ploughed the weedy set-aside and already there’s a pair of Lapwings showing an interest. As the female looked on the male was busy with his “scrape display”, tilting down into his proposed hollow and then showing his rear end to the female. If she is impressed by his skill and devotion she will join him in completing this or one of a number of other scrapes nearby, but she has the final say. 


There was a single Stock Dove on the same field, plus a few Woodpigeons, a Pied Wagtail, 4 Linnets and 4 Goldfinch along the wire fence. A Kestrel flew off from near the farm buildings. 



I found the resident Buzzard at Braides Farm. It was in the usual spot about 150 yards away sat atop a fence post. I counted 20 + Lapwings scattered across the fields where a number of them clearly have young as shown by their desire to chase not only crows but other Lapwings that strayed into the wrong territory. There are still Golden Plovers to be seen with circa 75 today, many of them wearing full summer, spangled plumage, a wondrous if somewhat distant spectacle. 


Golden Plovers

Golden Plovers

I came away from Conder Green with a good list of birds but not a single photograph of waders and wildfowl which totalled 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Redshank, 14 Oystercatcher, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 10 Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck and 3 Little Egret. 

House Martins are back on territory with two about the café rooftop and the under eaves. The nesting Pied Wagtails remain very close by. In the immediate area I clocked up Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Linnet, all of them in song. 

House Martin

A drive up and around Jeremy Lane and Moss Lane proved to be hare raising with large numbers of Brown Hares both visible and highly active. In one field alongside Jeremy Lane were 8 of the animals with 5 or 6 of them at a time taking part in chasing around the field at high speed. I saw more hares towards Cockersands where my final count of 18/20 was if anything, on the conservative side. 

From Wiki - Nocturnal and shy in nature, Brown Hares change their behaviour in the spring, when they can be seen in broad daylight chasing one another around fields and meadows. During this spring frenzy, they can be seen striking one another with their paws ("boxing"). For a long time, this had been thought to be competition between males, but closer observation has revealed it is usually a female hitting a male, either to show she is not yet ready to mate or as a test of his determination. 

Brown Hares

Brown Hares

Birds on this circuit – 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 10 Skylark, 10 Tree Sparrow, 8 Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting. 

Reed Bunting

Log in soon for more hair raising adventures with Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to Anni's Blog and Eileen's Saturday.


TexWisGirl said...

love the birds perching on fence wires. and those hares! wow! you can keep the late snowfall. :)

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, aweseom vareity of birds and photos. I love the Lapwings and the cute Golden Plovers. The Hares are adorable too. I am tired of this crazy weather, it is chilly and rainy here. Where is Spring? Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

Stuart Price said...

I saw a really tame Brown Hare last May near Preston, must have been a young one...............

Linda said...

I just love the birds and hares, Phil!

carol l mckenna said...

Despite the weather ~ you got fantastic bird photos ~ and love the Hares!

Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

Peggy Jones said...

Never have I seen a group of hares that large. They sort of just sneak around our neck of the woods alone or maybe two at certain times. Love the birds. Some I have never seen. I love this meme for just that reason. Learn so many new things.

Mama Zen said...

Splendid shots! I love the shot of the owl.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Well, I hope the snow is 'hare today, gone tomorrow'.... it's the end of April for goodness sake. Lovely birds; I wish I could see a lapwing someday for real.

Margaret Adamson said...

Did you say spring? Loooks more like winter .Liked the Golden Plover and LApwing shots

David Gascoigne said...

That kind of weather is a little discouraging to say the least. We had a warm spell a couple of weeks ago but it has turned cool again. Good shots of the Lapwings, Phil. I can see that you have significant expertise in photographing upturned butts! A group of hares like that must have been quite the sight. In my experience they have been solitary,but different species of hares probably behave in various ways. I know you will ferret it out!!

Chandra@GreenComotion said...

May I wish for warmer weather for you, if that is what you wish? :)

Love the Owl in the banner and other birds and critters in your photos.

Have a Happy Day, Phil!!
Peace :)

Ida said...

Some great birds here today. Also enjoyed the Brown Hares. The last shot of the bird on the barbed wire fence was quite nice. - The snow, not so much.

Lowcarb team member said...

The snow is just ridiculous isn't it.
We experienced some heavy hail on Friday, then rain and then the next minute glorious sunshine - what is going on with our weather?

Love the hare photo's and isn't that Goldfinch colourful, just lovely to see.

Wishing you a good Bank Holiday Weekend.

All the best Jan

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, I just wanted to stop back and say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. I hope the weather is warming up over there. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Gayle atMuldoon said...

The lapwing; what a beautiful bird!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a colorful goldfinch and I love that lapwing! Of course the owl is my elusive bird so it's my favorite! Enjoy your weekend!

Anni said...

Stopping by I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend to add your link to the tool there gave us a thrill; thank you!! Today, my favorite is the Lapwing in display. It's so fun [and interesting] to see what the male will do to attract...and how the female is usually 'un-phased' by it all when secretly she wants it as much as the male. We gals KNOW!! rofl

sandyland said...

definitely making me happy the plovers lapwings and finches !!

John Holmes said...

Hasn't the cricket season started? Is frost allowed at this time of the year? Great birds....I don't think I could ever drive away from a Barn Owl, though.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil!:) What a great variety of birds you share today, all perfectly lovely to view,... loved the image of the sweet House Martin, the Reed Bunting, and Goldfinch, and the Lapwing doing his scrape display was a good sighting and most interesting to see. It was unusual to see a grouping of so many hares. I have seen one or two, but never as many as in these images, what a fabulous sighting.

I have a Yorkshire friend who told me about the weird weather you are getting, hope it didn't last long, and the warmer weather has arrived.

Nora said...

Thanks for sharing your birds, great photos. Have a great week!

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