Friday, April 20, 2018

Missing In Action

A rather grey morning left me waiting for the promised lunchtime sun before I hit the trail. Although the light was still not good, sun was on the way with our bit of the “heatwave”. 

Those midday Barn Owls showed again, this time an obvious pair since they hunted the same fields. They weren't quite in tandem with one of them much more active than the other which sat in the adjacent hedgerow for a good hour. I was still on ISO1200. 

Barn Owl 

Barn Owls 

Barn Owl 

I checked out the recent Buzzard location to find both birds on show but partly hidden in the nest, seemingly doing a little housekeeping. Nearby was a Kestrel and also a male Sparrowhawk sat in the depths of the cover with its bright orange breast a dead give-away. 

Some migrant species are rather slow in arriving this year. The long journey from Africa takes its toll when birds hit rough weather. I was out all afternoon and saw just 6 Swallows, four of them in one location at Cockerham; otherwise just two singles near farms. Other species that should be around seem to be either lacking or here in very small numbers; Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats are conspicuous by their absence and we might expect a few Reed Warblers by now, but I've yet to hear that not unpleasant rasping and repetitive “song”. 


At Gulf Lane the farmer has rough ploughed our erstwhile Linnet catching field in readiness for the new crop of bird seed mix in late April/early May. The turned soil has pulled in a few birds looking for an easy meal. Two Wheatears, a Skylark and a Pied Wagtail searched over the ground and a Kestrel hovered briefly overhead. 


I looked at Fluke Hall where Whitethroats can always be found but none today just 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler and 3 Blackcap. Two Buzzards noted and also an odd number of Jays for April as three of them chased through the tree tops. “Two’s company, three’s a crowd” goes the saying. 

On the seaward side a single Wheatear with a few Lapwings on territory in the fields. Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Tree Sparrows along the hedgerows.


The cattle at Braides Farm have puddled a patch of ground that’s proved attractive to a procession of wagtails this week. Today I noted at least 8 Pied Wagtail, 4 White Wagtail and 2 Yellow Wagtail although all were very mobile, flying as far as the sea wall 200 yards away. There was also a Wheatear, a handful of Linnets and several Skylarks in song. 

Yellow Wagtails are the Cattle Egrets of the wagtail world.  More often than not the Yellow Wagtail can be found sharing fields with sheep or cattle where the animals' hooves and the constant grazing disturb plenty of insects.   

Yellow Wagtail 

It looks like we may get our summer in Lancashire tomorrow. If so stand by for more news soon from Another Bird Blog.

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


Rhodesia said...

A lovely set of photos and I am so jealous of those barn owl shots. 'Ours' seems to moved home :-( Happy weekend Diane

David Gascoigne said...

Good morning Phil: since I am in envy of your frequent sightings of Barn Owl, my envy is magnified by your observation of a pair. Surely one of the great benefits of living where you do, despite the vagaries of the weather, is the ease with which you can observe a species which birders living here never see unless they travel. Most birders I know have never seen a Barn Owl. Too bad we couldn’t do a winter swap - I’ll send you a Snowy Owl and you send me a Barn Owl! Enjoy the weekend.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Phil! I would like to see just one Barn Owl. You are lucky to get two in one photo. Awesome sighting. Beautiful collection of birds and photos.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Looks like we are all loving your Barn Owl pics. Great job capturing them.

Betty Crow said...

So jealous of the owl pics. They are awesome! Interesting facts and beautiful birds. Enjoyed your post, as always.

June Caedmon said...

Always a visual delight when visiting here, Phil! Have a wonder-filled week!

sandyland said...

how often do you see owls?/a lot more than I do -- all special to me today

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I am even MORE jealous of the Owl photos. We hiked today and looked and looked in an area some people saw one a few days ago. Nothing! But we saw lots of other birds so I shouldn't complain. Beautiful photos. Enjoy your weekend!

A Colorful World said...

I can't decide on my favorites! The barn owl is so amazing! But each bird has such a wonderful unique quality. They are all so great! Love your photos, Phil!

Angie said...

I'll jump on the bandwagon - love those barn owls. I was also attracted to the Wheatear with his cocked head - perhaps pondering where to go next?

Anni said...

That photo of the two owls in the trees is such a special treat!! I liked the reference of the 'cattle egrets of the wagtail world'...helps paint a picture of what you see when out birding! Enjoy that weather!

I'm sending my thanks to you for sharing your blog photos with us bird lovers this weekend. It's our privilege to visit you from I'd Rather B Birdin'!!

Lowcarb team member said...

Wonderful owl pictures, and isn't that yellow wagtail a lovely looking bird.

All the best Jan

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