Friday, 21 August 2009

This morning started off like many of the mornings this week, variable cloud cover, but bright and warm, so why have all the birds suddenly moved off ? It was a real struggle to find anything on my patch today. The actual number of birds seen was only a fraction of what has been recorded this week, and it took a full 6 hours to find 49 species, it was like something had gone round my patch overnight and scared everthing off.

I put it down to the number of SPARROWHAWK and HOBBY attacks! Last night I went over to migrant alley, and as I went to walk the Maize edge, I met a Sparrowhawk speeding the other way, just 6inches of the floor! Above me were 2 Hobbies, circling low, needless to say all the PIED WAGS, SKYLARKS and LINNETS went to cover. It was the same this morning, At least 3 Sparrowhawks and 2 Hobbies continually hunted on my patch, and my garden feeders have been targeted this week for the first time since March, Oh, and a big ginger cat came out of the maize crop and dashed across the paddocks - that doesn't help matters.

There were still some good birds recorded today, but they stayed low and in cover. At migrant alley a SEDGE WARBLER was seen briefly in the Tall Hedge, and a TURTLE DOVE was seen on a fence rail. A KINGFISHER was on the Lake, it actually settled 10 feet from me, but was obscured by vegetation, so I couldn't phtograph it!

I couldn't locate any feeding flocks at the College grounds, or in the wet woods, so species lke Spotted Flycatcher and Willow Warbler weren't seen. Lets hope these raptors are just passing through, nice to see but, I don't want them hanging around!

I didn't even point my camera at a bird today! So here's a couple of photo's of the Tall hedge at migrant alley, its about 50 Meters long, to the left is the Greenhouse complex, to the right is the maize crop.

Below: Tell tale signs of a hawk attack. I think this was once a Great Spotted Woodpecker, going by the Primary wing feathers I found. It was just after finding this, that another Great Spotted Woodpecker went over Ashes Lane, being hotly persued by a Sparrowhawk!!!!!


Greenie said...

Warren ,
The other side of the coin is that other people would give their eye teeth for 3 Sparrowhawks and 2 Hobbies over their patch .
That hedge could do with laying !

Anonymous said...

Me for one, with the Hobbies ;-)

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hobbies - what are they? With all those raptors around you need some good game keepers like the ones they have up here who (alledgedly) do in all the hen harriers and the Eagle Owl chicks I blogged about not so long ago.Good patch pics can yer do us a 'step by step' picture round of your daily walk so as we get 'the picture'.

Fingers crossed (what few I have left) for your August record, pity I can't send you one of our masses of Gannets or Manx Shearwaters.



Anonymous said...

Nice looking photos. Looks like a hawk killed a bird. Maybe something else.

I have the issue of "breast feeding" on my main blog today Pick a Peck of Pixels

ShySongbird said...

The birds seem to me to be in hiding at the moment Warren. Mind you the big ginger cat wasn't helping at all on your patch, poor little birds! Predators in every shape and form!