Saturday, March 4, 2023

Early Cold and Something Hot

Early morning starts give a chance of breakfast hunting Barn Owls before other traffic hits the road whereby constant vehicles will sends an owl off to quieter spots. That’s how it was this morning when from a distance I spotted the owl on a roadside post from where it surveyed the landscape. 

I straddled the grass verge, slowed to a stop, crossed my fingers, stuck the lens through a partly open window and hoped that the air rush of overtaking vehicles would not cause the owl to flee.

Barn Owl
The owl was a good start to the morning journey up to Oakenclough and a ringing session with Will and Andy. The dash read 4° and there was a slight but bitterly cold northerly breeze. A morning to keep moving interspersed with bouts of hot coffee with a hot-cross bun. 

We had species in mind - finches mainly to add to 60 Goldfinches and smaller numbers of Lesser Redpolls, Siskins and Chaffinches caught here this year. Maybe even an early arrived Chiffchaff to kick off the spring season? 

The temperature didn’t pick up at all with birds hard to find. We packed up at 11 o’clock at a still lowly 5 degrees with just 13 birds caught. Once again the major species was Goldfinch - 8 Goldfinch, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Dunnock, 1 Robin, and 1 Lesser Redpoll. 

The Lesser Redpoll proved to be an adult male yet to attain its full red and pink hues. It was the only redpoll we saw and heard all morning with perhaps 10 or 12 Siskins in early morning flight but none of those caught this time. 

Lesser Redpoll



It’s early evening, time to cook a warming curry and open a bottle of plonk.  

Curry Time

There's more news, views, photographs and hot stuff very soon at Another Bird Blog. Don't be late for the feast. 

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


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm not late, am I? I came in the Jeep lickety split! lol And of course I love seeing your Barn Owl...what a beauty!

Shiju Sugunan said...

The owl, goldfinch and Robin are my favourites.

Wally Jones said...

That temperature is too close to the freezing point for me to voluntarily be outdoors. Fortunately, the urge to bird is a reflex, like breathing, so I wouldn't be able to help myself.

Spotting a Barn Owl would make me forget all about temperature and pretty much everything else. I'm trying to overcome my jealousy to be happy for you. Your photograph is really lovely! Especially when enlarged.

I know you were hoping for more birds caught, but any day ringing/birding is preferable to one cooped up indoors. Or worse, shopping. Or even worse, working!

We must be on some sort of culinary wave length. Gini prepared Chicken Curry two days ago. Leftovers tonight! Your ingredients make the anticipation nearly unbearable.

We hope your new week will be a good one.

Anni said...

First off after I comment, I will have to Google plonk!

That owl needs to be framed! What a gorgeous portrait. And I love the flair of the beautiful robin today.

Have a super week ahead and your linking in is always appreciated!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil, :=)
Well, photographing a Barn Owl would certainly have made my day, and what a beautiful capture. I love all your hand held bird images, but the Robin is my favourite showing it's fan tail.

There is nothing quite like a curry to warm one up and some plonk of course. but you could always take a hip flask of whisky or some other equally suitable alcohol, to keep you warm whilst you are outdoors!

All the best.

NCSue said...

I'm always amazed at how often you seem to catch great photos of the barn owl. I rarely see owls here and it has generally been at night.
Thank you for sharing at

Lillian "sognafaret" said...

So beautyful birds

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

The owl is stunning. Owls just grabbed my heart - I don't know why but I love their faces.

Veronica Lee said...

I am always in awe of your stunning barn owl captures, Phil.

Nothing beats curry on a cold day!

Mike Attwood said...

Hi Phil, you are fulfilling all the things that I would like to to so keep it up and I will enjoys yours.

Rostrose said...

Dear Phil
"your" barn owl is a beauty, how great that you discovered it! There were very few birds for ringing, but they are birds that I never or very, very rarely see here, so I'm happy to see them in your blog :-)
I hope the curry was tasty! The only question left is: What is Plonk?
All the best - Traude

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to see the barn owl and my favourite robin :)

Eddie and I enjoyed a curry, with it's lovely spices so warming on these cooler days.

All the best Jan

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,

I love the Barn Owl and the Redpoll is a favorite too.
But, they are all beautiful birds and lovely photos.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend. PS, I am sorry I am late commenting!

Yvonne said...

Curry and cheap wine, a dinner that would try to kill me by bedtime :) I gather it's not warm enough yet for the birds you are interested in. I'm sure your dinner made up for the disappointment. The sight of a Barn Owl has to always be a rush. I'm glad it posed for you, so I could view it and wish it was me who stopped to photograph it. Happy birding this coming week. Here it is rain and cold normal weather.

Rostrose said...

Dear Phil, I don't see my comment here, but you must have gotten it, because you answered my question about "plonk" - thanks for that!
Have a nice Sunday evening and a good new week with many birds!
Traude 😘

Wally Jones said...

Hoping the weather is improving and that all is well.

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