Sunday, 13 July 2014

BACK TO THE EX-GRAVEL PIT

The last two days after finishing my shift at work I went back to the ex-gravel pit just outside the village of Pitsford. I have been a bit gutted as whilst working it has been really sunny but yet by the time I have cycled up to the site the clouds have gathered. My current target's of possible Barn Owl and to get some better Sandmartin images was the main aim but also to record what was up there.
 These were by best two efforts from the Friday evening, the sun was out but the big "cliff" from the ex workings of the gravel pits meant I was bit shaded and the light wasn't to strong. So still working on the sandmartin images. The first image is of a Sandmartin skimming low down for insects, sadly back lit.
I still haven't seen the Barn Owl and have searched all the trees possible for any nesting site, there are a couple I can't search as they are at the top of the cliff face and impossible to get to. I have located a possible Barn near to the sight but is strictly out of bounds. However I know there is a Little Owl in two of the trees and are often calling in the evening to each other and a breeding pair of Buzzards in the other. In fact on Saturday I saw a juvenile Buzzard flying around the site.
JUVENILE BUZZARD AGAINST TYPICAL SKIES, NOTE THE GAPE

I opted to try some portraits, not a portrait man really but what the heck, and clock up a species list, I noted that a lot of birds were settling on the phone cables (above the "x" in the above image) and landing in a pile of chopped down willow (to the right of the "x") so settled down at the "x" with a pile of stones behind me, my bike and camera bag for cover. Wasn't sure it would work but it did. I had a Red Leg Partridge wander right up to me I was going to get my phone camera out and video it.
This was a full frame but I chopped/cropped a bit of the left just to remove the bird from centre of the frame a bit, a pain in to get a clear image through the long grass.
The fun continued as the birds got used to my presence.
JUVENILE FEMALE BLACKCAP

CHAFFINCH

GREENFINCH
LINNET
SONG THRUSH
 The Linnet flock was impressive up to twenty birds descending on to the woodpile to feed though I finally understand why Mark Avery referred to this species jokingly as chinless, they were scared off by a juvenile Willow Warbler sadly that one escaped my camera's gaze to small and fidgety as did a Chiff-Chaff, juvenile Dunnock and juvenile Robin, in fact there was a lot of juveniles feeding in this massive bug-hotel including juvenile Song Thrush I also missed Green Woodpeckers and Jay. I had a total of 33 species of which 29 were on this log pile alone.
I also had three Kestrels on the phone wires 1 adult female and two juvenile also female's.
Even though not as impressive in number terms is the sites Yellowhammers surronded on three sides by arable farm fields I counted 16 a mixture of adults and juveniles, the juveniles were a little too camera shy. However it was good to hear them all calling.
YELLOW HAMMER

YELLOW HAMMER WITH SPACE INVADER (BUG)
GOLDFINCH
I have four days off, sadly today was rubbish so didn't bother, but weather permitting I will be going back to the sight to carry on with the Sandmartins and hopefully some better news with the Barn Owl....

4 comments:

  1. A brilliant selection whatever you might think.
    The world is out to make life hard work. The successes compensate.

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    1. Thanks Adrian I am liking this site despite the weather it has a charm to it

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  2. Some great images there, Doug. My favourite is the second Sandmartin. That's a pretty impressive number of species for that site, and you've only just started on it! I get a feeling that you're going to come up with some more real gems from here.

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    1. Thanks you Richard I hope the Barn that it is nearby holds the Barn Owl as I found so many more pellets around the site.

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