Monday, 24 November 2008

I finished yesterdays post with the suggestion that I may ''go out after dinner'' Well I did, just for an hour, I went over to the maize stubbles at migrant alley, and was pleased to find 39 LAPWING, the first this month, with them was a large flock of BLACK HEADED GULLS, I counted over 120, also a small number of STARLNGS and the corvid flock were present.

Above: Lapwings, and below a mixture of lapwing, Gulls and Starlings
This morning I had the magical experience of watching the BARN OWL hunting! It was quartering the small field between Ashes lane and the maize stubbles, where the Raspberries are. This is just about the only field with the grass long enough to hold the prey of the Barn Owl, mainly mice and voles. A great start to the week.
Just over an hour was spent on my patch this afternoon, and in the strong biting wind very little was found. A GREY HERON and 5 MALLARD were on the lake, and 6 LONG TAILED TITS were in the bank vegetation. More Mallard were in the wet woods, along with the usual MOORHENS, but no Teal as yet. As I walked through the tree nursery to get to migrant alley, 6 LAPWING flew over. I was disappointed to find the small area of setaside that was to be found along the hedgerow, leading from the tree nursery to migrant alley, had had its fencing ripped out, and I was told it was being put back into crop production. It's only the size of a couple of tennis courts, but HADLOW COLLEGE have obviously fallen on hard times and need every last piece of ground to bolster their profit margins. That piece of setaside was probably good hunting ground for the Barn Owl, maybe the loss of it is why I saw the Owl where I did this morning. Talking of the Barn Owl, the plywood is arriving wednesday, so I can get on and build the nest box.
I spent 20 mins at Migrant Alley, but it was very quiet, only 1 MEADOW PIPIT, 2 LINNET and a single PIED WAGTAIL was noted.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with the nest box Warren. There`s been a Barn Owl roosting on a friends farm near me, but i`ve not seen it since the barn`s been filled with the hay bales.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
You did better than me , almost nothing at all , then found a sheep , on its back , all four legs in the air , in distress .
By the time I found someone to inform , it was dark .
Nice to see you are still friendly with the college .

Warren Baker said...

all you can do is make the farm owners aware of the B.O. Let them know how good their farm management must be, to have a B.O living on it. ( lather them up!!) If that don't work, let them know about the legal status of the BO. Tell them you'll be pushing for prosecution!

Warren Baker said...

It's ALWAYS worth going out - you just never know what will happen!
As For The landowners on my patch, all but one are complete tossers!

Steve said...

I bet that Barn Owl was a fantastic sight Warren...

fishing guy said...

Warren: I love that photo with all the birds on wing. That seems unusual to find such a mixture flying together.

Anonymous said...

Warren, the farmer knows about the Barn Owl. He usually lets me know when he`s seen it.
The last time i spoke to him, he said it was roosting in the gaps between the bales.
I`ll be going there in the morning. So i`ll be checking to see if it`s around.