Saturday, June 23, 2018

Early Doors

I’m trying to pack some early starts in these now longest days even though the birding is a little unexciting and predictable until July kicks in. There was a fine start this morning but cloud increased quite quickly and I found myself back home in time for morning coffee and a Rich Tea. 

Early Start - Cockerham 

Without the morning traffic it’s surprising just what can be heard across the quiet moss roads. I located both Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting by their respective far-carrying songs but each was a good 60+ yards away. Further along the same route I found a second Corn Bunting, two more Yellowhammers and a party of six Mistle Thrushes. Six is a good number together at this time of year and the likelihood is that they were one family group from one very crowded nest. 

Corn Bunting 

I stopped in a farm gateway to check out a Buzzard nest 75 yards away in a line of trees. When found in early May the nest was a lot more obvious but it is now difficult to see, especially on a breezy morning. 

Today both adults were in attendance but at the sight of a stopped vehicle they made themselves scarce in double quick time. Such is the Buzzards’ local status and ongoing harassment that a nesting pair still fears for their own safety. The single downy headed youngster appeared on the edge of the nest, took a few practice flaps and then settled down into the now somewhat flattened sticks. There would appear to be a week or more to fledging. 

Young Buzzard 

The retreating adults had been chased off by a local Kestrel from a farm down a nearby track. Where the Sparrowhawk pair is I do not know but as I waited for the Buzzard chick to show again, I made do with a single Sparrowhawk heading across the fields. 

Along the next road I came across two Pilling celebrities, Bill and Bunty, the pair of day-flying owls. These two continue to surprise and delight passing farmers, cyclists, motorists and white van men to such an extent that a vehicle pile-up may be imminent as road users swerve, stop, stare and shout to each other at the sight of these common but often invisible creatures. The pair are well known and treasured by locals so it’s all to the good if the owls’ presence diverts people from disturbing other Barn Owls that may be susceptible to interference. The Barn owl is after all, a Schedule One species and should be immune from any type of illegal meddling. The two were a soccer pitch away today so no chance of a world beating photo; and anyway I was on my way to Conder Green for early doors. 

Barn Owls 

At Gulf Lane I caught sight of Tawny Owl as it flew for a safer spot but pursued by angry Blackbirds and chippy Tree Sparrows. 

The usual fare was at Conder – 6 Common Tern, possibly one of which was later fishing the canal basin at Glasson Dock. As noted recently, an increase in Redshanks to more than 150 today; 32 Oystercatchers (including non-flying young), 15 Lapwing, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Curlew, 1 Avocet, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret. The Avocet was flighty today as it flew over to the creek where it both fed and bathed. I gained the impression it may now be without a partner. 



Smaller stuff around and about – 20 Swift, 5 Sand Martin, 5 Sedge Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 4 Reed Bunting, 1 Reed Warbler.  

Reed Bunting 

Log on soon for more early doors with Another Bird Blog.

Linking this post to World Bird Wednesday and Anni's Birding Blog.


David Gascoigne said...

Morning coffee and Rich Tea sounds like a bit of a contradiction in terms, but I assume that Rich Tea is a cookie perhaps? Actually in about an hour Miriam and I will have coffee with a slice of beautiful rhubarb cake she has made. I can hardly wait - maybe I will reset the clock and fool her! The two Barn Owls are splendid beyond belief and it strains credulity that they are so easily viewed. I can only imagine the number of people who get home and start the conversation with, "You'll never believe what"I saw today........"

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm going back again to see those owls! You had quite a good day for sightings...a nice variety of birds! Enjoy your weekend!

sandyland said...

That first oystercatcher is looking wet ,must have been productive

Anni said...

I swear, you had me right there with you in the early morning stillness. I could hear the bird calls! For me, the best time of day to be birding. Loved the nest ... and oh my goodness - TWO owls?!! At the same time, WOW.

For sharing this post with us birders, I thank you.

Betty Crow said...

Love early morning birding. These days it is a must. The heat is tiring these days. Love the owls. I never get to see one. Enjoyed the reed bunting in the top of the tree.

Rhodesia said...

I say it every time, and I will say it again, wow, you are sooooooo lucky to see those barn owls so often. Wish I knew what happened to the one that used to be around here. Even the little owls are very quiet at present, but I hope it is because they are rearing young. Wish I could find where they are nesting but too many old barns around and they could be anywhere!
Great set of photos. Have a good week Diane

Angie said...

I am not much of a morning person, but you could twist my arm to join you for the owls, AND the coffee with Rich Tea!

Stewart M said...

Early mornings are such a treat - I have to say I miss the really long days of mid-summer. I may even miss rich tea biscuits too!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I love the longer days and the early morning starts too. Your birds are all awesome. The barn owls are my favorite along with the Oystercatchers.

Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

Fun60 said...

Two barn owls and a young buzzard all before morning coffee, You are certainly living the life.

Kay L. Davies said...

I've always loved owls, Phil, but today my eye was caught by the oystercatchers. Is the first one a female or a fledgling? Your photo of the second one is wonderful. It could have been posing for you.
All the best from here,
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Lady Fi said...

Love that first shot - so beautiful!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Day-flying owls are a small miracle -- it delights me to know that they can cause a traffic pileup ... It seems like such a good thing ... people who get excited to see birds are surely more likely to fight against those who would harm them.

I'd be thrilled to see them -- and really by each one of your sightings -- and the by sheer number you counted..... I wish such was my average ordinary day in June or any other month.

Nice to be back to blogging and vicarious birding!! Thanks for sharing the wonders!

betty-NZ said...

It's so nice to see birds that are different from the ones I see every day. Thanks for sharing them.

Lowcarb team member said...

I'm not too good at early morning starts …
Must say a mid morning drink and rich tea biscuit sounds good!
Didn't the advert used to say a drink's too wet without one!

Lovely to see the barn owls, very special indeed.

All the best Jan

Liz Needle said...

An interesting blog and a great morning walk. Wish I could stir my bones early enough to do this.

Powell River Books said...

The sun comes up to early this time of year that I can't sleep past 7:00. Because we have a high hill in front of us I can still catch sunrise over the top a little after 8:00. - Margy

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