Friday, November 11, 2016

The Right Decision

At last a morning without wind and rain so I decided to try my luck not far away. A bright, frosty start saw me head east and over Stalmine Moss towards Pilling. 

Pilling Moss

In the half-light I saw a Sparrowhawk glide slowly along the road ahead of me two before it turned a sharp right through farm buildings. Near the next farm two Buzzards flew from roadside telegraph poles and then landed on different ones further along. Leaning out of the car window and at ISO3200 there was no way a photo would turn out well. 


Luckily the camera was still on the passenger seat as I rounded the next corner where a Barn Owl had interrupted its hunting for a look around. I grabbed a few pictures before the owl continued on its path across the fields and then out of sight. Again the picture is at ISO3200 and far from ideal. 

Barn Owl

I stopped at Gulf Lane where I found just 25 or so Linnets on the set-aside. It’s a count well down on recent ones and it could be that the hundreds of Linnets of recent weeks have moved on. Andy is back from Spain today to be greeted by the news of reduced numbers plus a not so good weather forecast of rain and wind to frustrate our plans to catch more Linnets. 

At Sand Villa and Braides Farm I combined counts to give approximates of 800 Lapwing, 700 Golden Plover and 170 Curlew but 12 Whooper Swan, 4 Teal, 2 Buzzard and 1 Merlin were accurate enough. I make it 34 Golden Plover in the picture below but it is very difficult counting a fast flying flock twenty or thirty times that size, especially when they finish off by landing in a distant rough grass field where they mix with several hundred Lapwings. 

 Golden Plover

The tide was in at Conder Green but it didn’t matter too much as bird numbers there are much reduced now that autumn is gone. Highlight was a good count of 190 + Teal in perhaps one of the best local areas to study our smallest UK duck. Otherwise - 22 Redshank, 15 Snipe, 10 Little Grebe, 4 Goosander, 2 Shelduck and 2 Little Egret. 

Alongside the farm buildings the warm sunshine encouraged a few Starlings into winter warbling as half a dozen Goldfinch fed on seed heads and the usual Pied Wagtail searched the tideline. 


A mooch around Moss Lane and Jeremy Lane revealed a mixed flock of circa 100 Fieldfare and 30 Redwing plus several Blackbirds which may or may not be migrants. As might be expected, the thrushes were concentrated in roadside hawthorn bushes, from where they scattered far and wide as cars rushed past but soon returned to gorge on the bright red berries. I found a little spot to wait for them to return but couldn’t get a Redwing to pose, especially as their number was quite low. 



It’s not looking good for weekend birding or ringing. But you know what? Weather forecasters are just like pollsters and very often get their predictions totally wrong. 

In that case, log in soon for more news and views from Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to World Bird Wednesday, Anni's birding and Eileen's Saturday Blog.


Stuart Price said...

If Trump can win you may get a Dusky Thrush with the Fieldfares............

Linda said...

Glad you had a good morning, Phil, and so lovely to see your beautiful photos! :)

Jedidja said...

I love you starling photo! Very nice!

Santi Dominguez said...

I have never seen fieldfares.Please,what kind of red berries is this bird eating?what plant is?Ir is very intetesting.Thanks.

Marleen said...

What a wonderful photo of the starling. And I love the barnowl!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, looks like an awesome outing. I would be thrilled to get a Barn owl shot like yours. I like the Plovers in flight and the pretty Fieldfare. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Jenn Jilks said...

They are beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing yours!
We've had major winds, so birds are flying madly.
Top that, it's hunting season, so no deer about. sigh.
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Jo said...

Hi Phil, I've never seen a fieldfare. Beautiful bird. Re your Starling (originally a European Starling now called a Common Starling) it occurs here in South Africa as well. I thought it was a visitor but it says it's a common resident. Thanks for sharing. Jo

sandyland said...

what a sky!!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I like your owl shot, Phil.

The raptors must Shirley be glad we put up those poles for them to perch on!

Anni said...

My oh my...What a great day birding for you!
The numbers total is always boggles my mind.
That barn owl portrait is just awesome today, as are your fieldfares in the hawthorn. Beautiful, as always, your photos are.

Thanks for sharing this weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin'

[By the way, I'm very pleased at our nation's presidential outcome] :0)

Marie C said...

The fieldfare on the red berries are such wonderful "Christmasy" shots! Love all you saw and took photos of! Always enjoy sharing a day of birding with you!

Santi Dominguez said...

GREAT.I supposed.Crataegus is the plant.Here in Salamanca (Spain) we have a native Crataegus: Crataegus monogyna.It is an important plant for us.

Thanx you

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Hi Phil, that owl shot is quite a hoot!

By the way, I think you are right about the wasp. I'm working on the mystery, more to come!

Neesie said...

It's my first visit to your blog Phil, and I must say you have some spectacular photo's. I adore birds and have three bird feeding areas around my property. We live in a very rural place and have lots of great visitors. Just yesterday we had a Sparrow Hawk come flashing through the garden with his ariel acrobatics chasing a finch. Miraculously he didn't catch him.
I have a new camera, but I desperately need a good zoom lens. It's on my Christmas wish list :D

Fun60 said...

Terrific photo of the fieldfare amongst those red berries.

mick said...

Great photos - the in-flight plovers are my favorite. I wish I knew my bush-birds the way you know yours.I find their habitat preferences and their migration movements so much more difficult than the shorebirds I have watched for so long. Maybe I just need more time - and effort!

NC Sue said...

I always find something to learn and lots to love at your blog. Great shots as always.
Thanks for sharing at

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Wonderful images, I like them all!

Mary Cromer said...

The Fieldfares images are absolutely stunning, and so sharp and crisp, I feel like I am right there looking at them. Those are photo book perfect Phil.

Well by now you know the outcome of our elections and what a farce it was and is. All we can do is hope, pray cross fingers that he will do what he needs to do as President and not open his mouth so much...

Looking at a bit more surgery and rev=cover, going for consultation tomorrow, think good thoughts.

Hope you and Sue are doing well~

Lowcarb team member said...

Glad all was well ...
Your photo's look so good, and as well as the birds I love those red berries!

All the best Jan

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The fieldfares on the red berry branches are perfect photos... I hope your weather forecasters are wrong . The only good thing about our election is that I learned never again to waste time reading pollsters, let alone believe them.

Related Posts with Thumbnails