Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sleepy Time North

There’s not a lot to report from this morning’s birding sortie but then it is sleepy mid-June. 

The regular Barn Owl flew over someone’s garden and past their lounge window. That’s a pretty good bird for anyone’s garden list. 

Barn Owl

I stopped at Gulf Lane to inspect the bird seed cover crop and where pretty soon we’ll be catching more Linnets, a few Goldfinch and one or two other species. There’s been a tremendous surge of growth in the six or seven weeks since the farmer sowed the field during which there’s been zero rain with lots of sunny days. At the end of July we’ll cut a 100 ft ride for single panel nets through the crop and away we go with Linnet catching through until March. 

Bird Seed Cover Crop 

I saw six or eight Goldfinch and a couple of Linnets along the edge of the dried up ditch plus a singing Whitethroat. The Oystercatchers bred successfully here but then moved their young across the fields and towards the shore 200 yards away. 



Nearby and at the roadside Buzzard nest, one of the adults tried to hide but didn’t fly off so there’s a good chance there are one or two nestlings ready for fledging. Close by, a Kestrel and a singing Yellowhammer. Yellowhammers breed rather late around here so it’s not unusual to have them singing way into August. 



At Conder Green it’s “as you were” with the breeding birds; 2 pairs of Common Tern, 5 or more pairs of Oystercatcher and 1 pair of Avocets. Goodness knows what the Tufted Ducks are up to with as far as I know a zero count of ducklings from 10-20 paired adults that have been around all year.

A number of the Oystercatchers were busy with their “piping” rituals. At some unknown prompt the birds suddenly decided to display with up to six or seven taking part but three captured in the picture below.  The ritual is a way of defending pairs’ territories and consists of the Oystercatchers bowing their heads up and down with their beaks facing the ground while making long, high-pitched piping sounds. The shrill piping sounds are often directed to their neighbours. Sometimes they chase their neighbours or intruders away, piping loudly as they go.  Note the bowed heads and open bills.


Noticeable today was an increase in Redshanks as inland and upland birds return to the coast. I counted 60 Redshanks this morning as well as 4 Black-tailed Godwits. Strange as it may seem the somnolence of summer breeding for passerines occurs at the same time as wading birds begin to migrate. By mid June many northern waders have finished their breeding with the adult birds the first the first to feel the southerly urge. 

The few passerines in the immediate area were noted as 3 Whitethroat, 4 Reed Bunting, 4 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Tree Sparrow. 

It’s sad to say that 9 Swift flying around the pool and the hedgerows was my best UK count of the year. 

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


Stuart Price said...

Great Yellowhammer shot Phil.........

Rhodesia said...

I do love that barn owl :-)
Not sure I have ever seen a Yellowhammer, pretty little bird.
We sometimes see masses of Goldfinches, but this year there was only a couple around in winter and then they disappear in summer.
Have a good week Diane

Margaret Adamson said...

Love the see the siniging bird images Phil and your header is fabulous. Hope you are having a good week.

David Gascoigne said...

Hello Phil: i can’t imagine what a thrill it must be to have a Barn Owl in your backyard, although I know a fellow in Ashby de la Zouche who has a large piece of property and has built very substantial houses for Barn Owls and has great success with them. That is where I saw my only Barn Owl when I last visited England a couple of years ago. As for the Yellowhammer, every sighting is a cause for rejoicing. It seems to me that fifty years ago it was a very common bird, but I saw very few during the same visit I mention above.

Angie said...

Phil - I just can't get over the barn owl sightings you experience so consistently. Jealous, I am!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I would love to have the Barn Owl for a yard bird. Nice captures of the singing birds. Your Goldfinch is a favorite, I also love the Oystercatchers.

Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend.

sandyland said...

like no goldfinch I've ever known on the thistles of Wva

Lowcarb team member said...

I just love your header!

Always nice to see your selection of birds, that barn owl is so good.

All the best Jan

Anni said...

Always terrific photos ... the crop update is so promising of future birding (and banding). Love the y
photo of the yellowhammer in song!

Thanks so much for sharing this with us bird watchers this week! Always appreciated.

Betty Crow said...

Enjoyed seeing the barn owl and do love the Yellowhammer singing away. Wonderful post and pics, as always.

A Colorful World said...

Stunning birds! Love that Yellowhammer! Is that rape in that field?...One of the prettiest crops I've ever seen grow! That yellow is so happy! I bet the birds just love that seed! Thanks for all your comments! Have a great week!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

The pretty yellow bird, Yellowhammer are really beautiful. Love all the bird photos.

NC Sue said...

Lovely photos. I always find your posts to be entrancing.
Thanks for linking up at

Related Posts with Thumbnails