Wednesday, 3 September 2014

As the weather was so nice out, with a just a heavy mist and periods of sunshine, I decided on a 'full patch walk' this morning.

Another very good day list was recorded, 51 species in all, with some great finds among them including my first WHEATEAR (62) of the month at Migrant Alley, where it kept company with a single WHINCHAT, which may or may not have been one of the 3 seen here for the last 2 visits. Also at Migrant Alley were at least 4 YELLOW WAGTAILS.

The Greenhouse Grounds had the days only WHITETHROAT, plus a single BLACKCAP and a single CHIFFCHAFF. On the roof of one of the Greenhouses at least 16 PIED WAGTAILS were lined up with a dozen or so SWALLOWS, a GREY WAGTAIL dropped in as well, all very nice  :-)

Checking the old shack at the Ashes lane Field, I again saw the LITTLE OWL sitting on a roof beam, I took a distant photo ( for a later post), then moved on to the Lakes, here I found a GREY HERON and a KINGFISHER on the small lake, the ornamental lake had the MUTE SWAN family, at least 11 MOORHENS 6 MALLARD and the COOT had come out from whever it was hiding yesterday  :-) The main lake had 18 CANADA GEESE and a couple more Mallard and Moorhen.

The Adjacent Scrubby Woods was only slightly more livelier than yesterday, I found another Blackcap and another Chiffchaff, as well as finding most of the scarcer woodland birds - TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, BULLFINCH, JAY and STOCK DOVE, but all single birds.

The Wet Woods were good for GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, but little else, while the Small Holding had another Little Owl calling, plus lots of Finches and Tits.

My end of walk sky watch from my seat at Migrant Alley was quite productive, adding 3 raptor species, SPARROWHAWK, BUZZARD and KESTREL, two gull species, HERRING GULL and BLACK HEADED GULL, and HOUSE MARTIN to my day list.

Around Midday I was out at my seat again, skywatching!  I had noted from my previous Osprey sightings that all have come between the 2nd and 9th of September, apart from one that was on the 29th, so I was on the lookout for one today! I spent a little under two hours watching, and didn't see any sign of one, nor much else and eventually I had to go, as I did so I saw the Whinchat fly into the Greenhouse Grounds, so I went to try and get a photo of it.........

I was successful up to a point, but the leaves were in the way! However, the Whinchat most obligingly dropped down onto some old Raspberry stems, just 15 meters away. It was perched up in the open, so I started to stealthily creep up on it. I got to within 6 meters and took a couple of 'practice' shots, but a stick was in the way, I needed to move around to the left a bit! Just as I was about to do just that, I heard a Buzzard calling repetitively up in the sky, I looked up and saw it mobbing another raptor, it was an OSPREY (101,63) !!!! and it was heading straight at me! What do I do, get some great Whinchat images, or break cover and get the flyover Osprey image?  I tried both, firing of a stream of hurried photo's at the Whinchat, then, turning skywards, immediately fired off a stream of photo's at the Osprey, just having time to adjust the exposure compensation!

Well, the Whinchat photo's were blurred, a real shame, as I dont think i'll get that close to one in such good light and a nice background for a long time. However, for a quickfire set of images, I was happy with the Osprey shots! What a fantastic outcome to the afternoon  :-)  :-)

I still had the 'practice' shots though, just a shame about that stick!

Osprey, a fantastic addition to my year list!


Marc Heath said...

Whinchats, bin them Warren, that stick is not doing well there. The Osprey, now you're talking, great top shot mate.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Osprey might have flown over my patch this morning but I was unable to get out. One landed on beach 30 minutes to the south. Cracking top shot!!!



Greenie said...

Warren ,
Well done with the Osprey .
2/3 years since my last one .

Warren Baker said...

It was the Whinchat ''stickless'' or the Osprey!!

Warren Baker said...

Its all about timing isn't it! As I said in my post, Ospreys seem to pass over here during a narrow window of time!

Warren Baker said...

Just keep watching the skies!

Pete Woodruff said...

SNAP....I had an Osprey overhead yesterday as you will see in my post on Birds2blog tomorrow if you'd care to take a look Warren.

Excellent images of your bird today....Isn't birding brilliant!

Adam said...

bloody hell Warren - cracking shots of the Osprey...nice when they creep up on you like that! Well done

Wilma said...

Great shots of that osprey! And being 101st of the year makes it even more special. Even though I see one almost daily, they are still a treat to see.

Alan Pavey said...

Excellent stuff Warren, great pics. Upto 86 species on the new patch now, 4 Gadwall flew in on Wednesday, there were 2 Greenshank present as well!