Friday, June 2, 2023

Stuck For Time

I am a little stuck for time this weekend. Therefore here’s a selection of recent photos but previously unpublished on the blog. A few from the recent holiday to Skiathos, Greece and some from local visitations to the hills north of Garstang, and an obliging Grasshopper Warbler from Pilling.

The Grasshopper Warbler was seen May 2nd, the day before we set off for Manchester Airport at 2am Wednesday 3rd May. The morning was grey and windswept and not the best for pictures.

Grasshopper Warbler

Grasshopper Warbler

A few birds ringed the same day as the "gropper" - adult Reed Warbler, adult female Chaffinch and a rather nice adult male Reed Bunting. 

Reed Bunting

Reed Warbler


Here's a few from Skiathos. 3-17 May. 

Before the grey shrike came close the long range views below helped separate out Great Grey Shrike versus Lesser Grey Shrike. A Lesser Grey Shrike shows long wings (long primary extension), relatively short, rounded tail, and stubby-looking bill. It was probably 25 years since my last LGS and 5 years since a GGS. 

Lesser Grey Shrike

 A spectacular European Roller made for a brilliant hour or so until it presumably flew off north, across the Aegean Sea to Europe, perhaps mainland Greece itself. It lived up to the book descriptions of "favouring open country with scattered trees and woodland patches. Mostly seen singly or in small groups perched on prominent spots such as bare snags or wires". 

European Roller

European Roller

Skiathos has both Red-rumped Swallow and Barn Swallow as resident breeding species and also as migrants spring & autumn. Both species seemed to be at similar stages of nest building by collecting mud from tracks and rain filled puddles. 

Red-rumped Swallow

The photo below shows how a Little Owl was able to play hide and seek. If it wasn't in the mood for posing it would walk down under the corrugated roof and disappear from sight until later. 

Visitors to Skiathos always hear the nightly monotone calls of the common Scops Owl even if they hardly ever see one. Meanwhile the less vocal Little Owl, a perhaps unlikely member of the birds of Skiathos, stays out of the limelight.

Little Owl

Bringing everything up to date here are some photos in the hills near Garstang from this week.

Red-legged Partridge




Back soon with Another Bird Blog. Linking this weekend to Eileen's Blogspot.


eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,
Wonderful bird sightings and photos. Great captures of the Warblers, the Reed Bunting and Chaffinch. The Little Owl is so cute and The Lapwing is always a favorite. I have always wanted to see the Curlew and the Lapwing. The European Roller is a pretty bird and I love the cute Red-rumped Swallow. The Less Grey Shrike is a handsome bird. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

Shiju Sugunan said...

Great photos! I especially love the Grasshopper Warbler and the European Roller. The Little Owl is also very cute.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's so great to have a collection of bird photos to share! You sure see a lot where you live and from your travels. I love the little owl!

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Phil
Many thanks for all of these lovely photographs, what a brilliant selection.
The little owl is so cute.

Wishing you a happy weekend.

All the best Jan

Rhodesia said...

I have never heard of a Grasshopper Warbler a new one on me. We have a pair of Little Owls around here. I hear them far more often than I ever see them. Lovely set of photos. Take care, Diane

Wally Jones said...

You may have been stuck for time but you certainly managed to entertain us with a diverse collection of outstanding photographs and narratives from around the world!

I had not heard of a Grasshopper Warbler and searched for its song. Both the warbling and viewing of your images were very pleasing!

The habit of the Little Owl moving out of sight is very similar to the behavior of most birds at which I point my camera.

Thank you for making good use of a bit of time to bring us such lovely images!

All is well in the swamp. All shall be better once we figure out how to avoid doctors and politicians.

Be well!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I always love your photos - I really get a good look at each bird. I think it amazes me that you are holding them. You can actually feel their feathers.

NCSue said...

Thank you for sharing at

Veronica Lee said...

Glorious sightings, Phil!

I especially love the Red-legged Partridge.

Happy Tuesday!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nice selections and information on identification and behavior.

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