Saturday, 10 October 2015

The sunshine was short lived this morning as high cloud drifted over from the North.

Just after sunrise.

Four hours out on my patch first thing, provided a few bits and pieces for me to enjoy, the SISKINS and GOLDFINCHES at the Greenhouse Grounds were joined by 7 LESSER REDPOLLS and a CHIFFCHAFF, but before I could get any photo's a SPARROWHAWK came speeding through and put everything up, or sent them into hiding.....(more tales of the Sprawk later)

A few MEADOW PIPITS were on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, but little else apart from the WOODPIGEONS, JACKDAWS, ROOKS, MAGPIES, and CARRION CROWS were with them. A few HERRING GULLS and a BLACK HEADED GULL were the only early flyovers noted.

Crossing the Ashes Lane Fields I scanned the fence line that runs along the drainage ditch, seeing firstly a ROBIN on a post, then a DUNNOCK a few posts up, then bingo, a superb male STONECHAT (59) was a bit further along o the wire, that made my morning   :-)

I couldn't get anywhere near for a proper photo, so had to settle for an identification shot  :-)

Stonechat......superb birds  :-)

After that bit of excitement, I headed off to the lakes, but my luck ran out here, with just 28 CANADA GEESE, 4 GREYLAG GEESE and 2 MOORHENS seen, not even a Mallard! The adjacent Scrubby Woods had a flock of LONG TAILED TITS moving rapidly though it, but BULLFINCH and GOLDCREST were the only other scarcer woodland species seen there.

A LITTLE OWL called from the Small Holding area, where there were 3 MISTLETHRUSHES feeding on windfall pears, not the hoped for Redwing or Fieldfare yet though  :-)

A short skywatch from my seat back at Migrant Alley was unremarkable in the main, a group of 5 CORMORANT heading North being the highlight.

As I said earlier in the post, here's more about the Sprawks  :-)

Sitting at home, in my garden, camera in hand, waiting for the birds to arrive at the feeders, I was continually frustrated by the male Sparrowhawk as it kept flying through every 6-7 minutes. Eventually it settle on its usual ambush perch in the leylandi tree at the bottom of the garden, well I was having none of that! So down I went, ''pishing'' and clapping my hands to scare it off, but it just sat looking at me, I chucked up a few small sticks, and some ripe tomatoes  :-)  All to no effect  :-(

As I wondered what to use to shift the Sprawk, I heard an horrendous, loud, cackling scream coming from the nieghbours garden, I poked my head over the wall to see a big female Sprawk some 40 meters away, fighting with a GREEN WOODPECKER, of course the Woodpecker lost, but it took some time for it to be subdued, not a nice thing to witness, as the pecker was screaming for ages  :-(

Meanwhile the male Sprawk was still up in the leylandi, by now I was seriously peed off, enough to go and get a step ladder which I lent up against the wall, and climbed up into the tree, taking a broom with me, which I use to bang on the branches....that shifted it!! 


Marc Heath said...

Perhaps a falconers glove and a bit of meat will work. Sounds like the most approachable Sparrowhawk in the UK. Loving the Stonechat photos.

Derek Faulkner said...

Warren, have you not considered an air rifle

Warren Baker said...

If it would pose in the open with some light on it I would get some great images !

Warren Baker said...


Pete Woodruff said...

Nasty tale about the Sparrowhawk Warren, nature in the raw, though your bird seems quite fearless about humans.

As for the Stonechat....WOW!

Warren Baker said...

Yes pete,
let's concentrate on the Stonechat :-)