Friday, 9 January 2009

I repeated yesterdays walk this afternoon,with a quick scan of Migrant Alley as well, but very little was seen, anyplace that was in shade was still covered in a thick frost, and everywhere the ground was still frozen hard, limiting feeding options for ground feeders. The highlight of the afternoon was seeing the BARN OWL out hunting, I first saw it some 40 yards away, going away from me along a hedgerow. I took a picture of it, and watched it go further away across the tree nursery. I quickly checked the image on my camera, just to see what it came out like - fool! As I was fiddling with buttons, I looked up and the owl was heading staight for me, it flew 2ft over my head, and by the time I was ready with the camera again, all I got was a rear view!
I left the Owl alone to hunt, and went looking around the bushes for that Firecrest, but it wasn't found, plenty of GOLDCRESTS and a FLOCK OF 13 LONG TAILED TITS were seen though. I made my way over to migrant alley, and sat on the horse jump to scan the fields, just 5 LAPWING were present, and a dozen or so BLACK HEADED GULLS. In the hedgerow behind my seat, a gathering of 3 BULLFINCH were seen, and 2 YELLOWHAMMERS were further along the same hedge. As it got colder, and the air began to feel frosty, I left for home, via the greenhouse complex. As I came out, onto ashes lane, I once again encountered the Barm Owl, but my heart was in my mouth as it ''bounced'' from one side of the hedge, into the road and back again over the hedge, at one point only narrowly being missed by a car. I hope it's not all going to end in tragedy, I would hate to find it's body along the lane.
So there were not any new species for the year today, but hopefully a full walk round the patch tomorrow morning will produce something, fingers crossed!
PS. The counter on my blog doesn't want to load up onto the page anymore, any of you bloggers out there know what's up with it ? Maybe it's my anti - virus thingy!

Above. The first sighting of the barn owl, as it flew away down the hedge line.
Above: the second encounter, as it flew over my head, whilst I fiddled with the camera. Oh well, least it's a good phto of it's arse !

This Female BLACKBIRD looked, a bit chilled. It must be hard for them in all this frost.

Above and below. Two male Bullfinch's that alighted in the hedge at Migrant Alley.


John Young said...

Hi Warren. Just catching up on your blog. Seems the barn owl has been a feature for a short while, what a treat and I agree firecrests are almost the parula warblers of the western palearctic, I love em.

Ken said...

Hi Warren.
Looks like it was a Barn Owl day.I like the Bullfinch shots, not a bird I see very often. A good day out.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Wish you'd mentioned your Racing Pigeon before , could have saved on the wild bird food .
Snap (again) on the two Bullfinches .
If a Barn Owl's arse floats your boat -----

Adam said...

Nice arse shots Warren! I know the feeling - trying to get Brambling shots at East Malling has become a nightmare, everything conspiring against me...batteries going flat, too dark, too light, too flighty, too dense shrubbery. One day! The Bullfinch is superb, been after a shot like that for ages. See the weather is changing this weekend, so make the most of thois cold snap.


fishing guy said...

Warren: Very nice bird captures you have shown.

Simon said...

Great Bullfinch shots Warren.

Andrew at Quicksilverbirds said...

Hi Warren, that's a pretty impressive list of birds for an afternoon stroll. Another good example of knowing one's own patch well (and being there at the right time)