Thursday, February 6, 2020

Highs And Lows

The morning ended on a high note following a rather disappointing ringing session. On the drive back home from Oakenclough via Garstang Town and Eagland Hill, I spotted a day-hunting Barn Owl. 

Barn Owl 

Barn Owl

Barn Owl 

Barn Owl 

Barn Owl

On Wednesday evening a check online told me that our last visit to Oakenclough was 10 November 2019, almost three months ago. At 700 feet above sea level Oakenclough can be desolate in winter, even more so given the wet and wind that continually overwhelmed plans to return. Only now, part way through February 2020 did the weather relent enough to allow a return to this our most productive of ringing sites. 

The ringing database DemOn showed that 2019 produced 867 captures at Oakenclough. Willow Warbler, Blue Tit and Redwing were the most ringed species at 85, 85 and 84 respectively, these three followed by 82 Goldcrest, 78 Meadow Pit and 70 Lesser Redpoll. Not many complaints there other than an unprecedented lack of Siskins (just 20) and far too many Blue Tits, a by-catch species that gives little return. 

As an early year exploratory visit we rather hoped that Lesser Repoll, Siskin and Goldcrest might be on the cards this morning but apart from a single Goldcrest, there was little evidence of early spring migration. We caught just 12 birds - 4 Blue Tit, 2 Chaffinch and singles of Dunnock, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Wren , Blackbird and Great Tit. 

Goldcrest 

Chaffinch

Dunnock 

Chaffinch

Never mind. We’ll try again after Storm Ciara has passed. 

“A Met Office yellow warning about Storm Ciara has been brought forward to midday on Saturday. It is set to bring a deep low pressure with strong and possibly damaging winds, with widespread travel disruption expected.  Coastal areas may be affected by large waves and potential flooding. 

Met Office 

The warning is in place until midnight on Sunday. The forecast is of gusts between 50-60 mph across inland areas that could reach speeds of 70 mph and possibly 80 mph in exposed hills and coasts.” 

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



22 comments:

Mike Attwood said...

Although I photograph all wildlife the barn owl is among my favourites. Finches(all species) have disappeared from my patch here in the south, in fact not much remains. I'm glad someone is in luck.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

the photographs of the Owl are fabulous Phil

italiafinlandia said...

Great shots of the Barn Owl.
FYI a couple of days ago I saw a Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus) in my garden in Finland, so there may be an early migration going on.
Have a good weekend!

Tanza Erlambang said...

Owl is one of my favorite birds....cute.

Hope, you will be success in your project in the next coming months

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,

I just love all the Barn Owl photos, the Goldcrest and Chaffinch are beautiful birds. I think it is too early for spring migration here. we had tornado warning for our area yesterday, it was very windy. Beautiful photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

sandyland said...

I hear an owl at precisely 3 am every morning

sandyland said...

i hear a barn owl every morning

Tanya Breese said...

Great pictures of the owl!

Anu said...

Hello Phil. Wonderful photos of the Barn owl. It is a pretty owl.

Romina said...

I love the owl photos, they're beautiful birds.

Check out mine, https://everdayasitcomes.blogspot.com/2020/02/urimbirra-wildlife-park-victor-harbor.html

Rhodesia said...

So jealous of the Barn Owl sighting and the great photos. 'Our' Dunnock seems to have gone AWOL as have many other birds that we used to get here in numbers.
We are on the edge of Ciara but it is very windy here as well.
A new week just around the corner so hope you have a good one. Diane

A Quiet Corner said...

A beautiful catch seeing that Barn Owl, Phil. I applaud the work you do in the field. Only once did I attend a bird capture and banding...Saw Whet Owls. It was exhilarating to watch them band once captured in the nets. Owls are a favorite of mine!...:)jp

Hootin' Anni said...

Now, that dunnock looks like it may have a bit of turquoise plumage? Or is it just my phone's settings? And, Phil, your photos this week of the owl are extraordinary! My favorite is where it's peeking over the grassy area.

thanks for linking up at I'd Rather B Birdin' this week.

~Hootin' Anni (aka Anni at I'd Rather B Birdin)

Shiju Sugunan said...

Barn owl is cute. Lovely series!

Lydia C. Lee said...

That Barn Owl is magnificient!

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful shot of the gorgeous Barn Owl
MB

Veronica Lee said...

Love the stunning photographs of the owl, Phil.

Happy Tuesday!

Fun60 said...

Beautiful shots of the Barn Owl.

betty-NZ said...

Some days are like that, but the lovely owl is certainly a bright spot! I always enjoy your birds :)


Feel free to share at My Corner of the World

s.c said...

Great bird shots.

Wally Jones said...

We hope nasty Storm Ciara did not cause excessive damage in your area.

Although migration may still be around the corner, it seems you found a diverse population nonetheless. Hopefully, your weather will settle down and the birds will burst your nets.

Barn Owls are very scarce throughout our area and your wonderful photographs renew my hope of finding one soon. It's been two years since I've spotted one.

All is good here. Lots of birding and exploring. I continue my trend of being too lazy too blog about it all.

All the best!

Angie said...

Phil - any day you can snap that many stunning photos of a barn owl would be a success in my book. From what I read, the storm wreaked havoc in many places, and another is on the way. Batten down the hatches. I always wonder how little birds survive these winds.

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