Monday 2 May 2011

The run of incredibly dry, sunny weather continued today, but a strong, near gale force NE wind blew as well, making it feel quite cold when exposed to it.

The wind did little to help find the birds this morning, and it was quite hard going early on, I had hoped to add the likes of Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Mistle Thrush, House Martin and maybe Hobby to the May list today, the first two weren't located, however, a HOUSE MARTIN (52) was seen going over Migrant Alley, where at the wooded headland both TURTLE DOVE and LESSER WHITETHROAT sang. This Lesser Whitethroat is the only one of the 3 on my patch still singing, indicating the other two have found mates.

I was pleased to add HOBBY (53) to the May list, and got a photo of it as it flew over Ashes Lane whilst I was walking to the Lakes and Scrubby Wood area, a pair of MISTLE THRUSHES (54) at the Small Holding were also added. I found a bonus bird for the May list when a male MANDARIN DUCK (55) was seen on the main lake, no doubt the one seen on a few dates in April. Ten CANADA GEESE, one with the 5 young, two MALLARDS, the pair of COOTS and two MOORHEN were also on the water, but unfortunately there were also two fishermen on the small lake, this lake has recently been given over for that purpose, not good news for me, or the many birds that will no doubt get caught up in discarded line :-(

On a brighter note, as I was looking for the TAWNY OWL and successfully finding it a few trees in from yesterday, I found it had two well fledged owlets with it! Fantastic piece of luck! This is first time I have encountered young Tawnies on my patch, and can now confirm successful breeding for the first year :-)

As well as that bit of excitement, a mid afternoon visit to the sheltered hedgeline in the tree Nursery, to look for Butterflies, proved successful, as both Brown Argus and Small Coppers were recorded for the first time this year, bringing the Butterfly list to 13. I'll post the photo's tomorrow, but here's todays images :-)

Above: Two Tawny Owlets, below is the presumed female. I took these photo's as quick as possible, not getting too near, as you can see by the Owls faces they hardly woke up to notice me!

Above and below is the Hobby

Below the male Mandarin Duck

Lastly, the Canada Goose family


Pete Woodruff said...

Hey....first to look in on your blog today Warren.

Yes the dry run is holding on nicely but the wind does my head in, especially when out birding. I always turn green when I see pics of the Hobby, but don't let that worry you Warren its my problem.

Warren Baker said...

Welcome Pete :-) It takes a big slice of luck to get Hobby photo's in flight, even my blurry ones!

Alan Pavey said...

Nice pics again Warren, your month is off to a real flyer, really like the Hobby photos :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

It takes a big slice of luck to get Hobby photo's in Lancs!!!



Nice owlets - cutesy cute

Keith N said...

Hi Warren. Good photos of the Owls and Hobby.
Please don't paint all of us fishermen with the same brush. The vast majority of us are conservationists and really care about the wild life. If you find evidence of neglect then please ask the lake owner to ban the people involved.
Keep up the good work mate.

Simon said...

Great photos, and how wonderful to see those owlets :-) well done in finding them! Nice to get the Hobby too!

Chris said...

I'd love to see a wild mandarin duck Warren and a hobby too by the way!!! Good sighting already for may... Well done mate!

Anonymous said...

Well done with the breeding Tawnies, Warren.
Great shots of the Hobby.

Marc Heath said...

Lovely shots of the Owls, a species that is quite common in the Stour valley but I have only ever had 1 encounter with young birds in 12 years.

ShySongbird said...

Well done with those Tawnies Warren! I'm very envious :)

Well done with the Mandarin too!

I have seen how careless some irresponsible anglers can be, it is disgraceful and as Keith N implies it unfortunately gives them all a bad name!