Friday, 22 May 2015

A MIXED BAG

WEDNESDAY:  despite the dubious weather I headed over to Moulton Quarry. Confirmation that the Jackdaws had evicted the Kestrel from it's tree cavity and one of the Little Owl's had also been evicted. I haven't been able to locate the exact new nesting site of the Kestrel as it's on private land. But both birds keep going to the same small spinney, interestingly right near one of the three Buzzard nests.
Now some self appointed 'experts' keep eluding that Buzzards are to blame for the decline in Kestrel numbers. I had two fledged juvenile Kestrels from this site, I also have three breeding pairs of Buzzards (6 in total) and a pair of Sparrowhawks, you may remember my post from last year at this site of the adult Sparrowhawk teaching a youngster to hunt by using the Kestrel as a target....the Kestrel got away. So going from what I've seen if we're to apportion blame to a birds decline we should look at corvids first, but I don't like doing that EVERYTHING plays it's part in the nature's grand scheme sadly nature didn't take into account the "(in)human effect". It wasn't a great visit thanks to the weather but the Sandmartins are doing OK with a lot of nesting activity.

Anyone who enjoys nature will often cynically laugh at some farmers attempts at set asides, but I walk past this one a lot, it's HUGE. My camera phone doesn't do it justice to be fair, not only does it look spectacular but it's also teaming with buglife and birds.
THURSDAY : the weather was better so headed off to Quarry Walk. The dawn chorus was still deafening especially down at the screen hide. Common stuff like Tits, Finches, Thrushes and then the Warblers too. It is starting to be less in it's intensity but still worth the early start. The Cuckoo was present all day, I still haven't seen nor heard a female though and the Cuckoo's call is beginning to sound more like a horn's player Last Revele...I caught this Reed Bunting acting very strangely.
 It would puff itself up and sit there, not calling, then deflate and few minutes later puff up again, weird but funny. And no it wasn't the wind lol.
 A more traditional look.
Of course Hobbies featured these two are ones I missed out on posting from my previous visit.

The next two from yesterday. The first makes it into the post because of its odd markings on it's tail
 This one...I'm 50/50 on it's a bit soft, light was fading and as I was stood near the power station you can see not only the power cables but the little orange balls that prevents birds flying into them....
And a Common Tern
The last couple of nights the Blue Tit that's nested under a loose (but weather proofed) roof tile above my bedroom have been very noisy. So much so my girlfriend has taken to nesting (I'm in trouble) in the spare room. ALL NIGHT I've heard the scratchy calls of the juveniles. This morning I awoke to silence. I looked into the garden have counted 6 juvenile Blue Tits, 1 juvenile Blackbird, 3 juvenile Robins but one got predated by the Sparrowhawk. I also watched the Great Tit nest box as the adult bird tempted out the youngsters just 4 juveniles, but given my garden is only 20ft by 40ft I'm quite happy with that total. I shall in about a week check the nesting spot of the Blue Tits to see if anything had been left behind..a juvenile Great Tit


8 comments:

  1. Great pictures. I have never understood why buzzards are blamed for everything from eating songbirds to stealing babies from their prams. The ones I see are Idle carrion and worm feeders.
    The great tit looks a bit grumpy.

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    1. Often that's exactly what I see too Adrian. They will occasionally go for an easy target but often won't bother due to level of energy used in the chase/predation. Sadly we'll hear more in the media on this subject.
      The juveniles do look grumpy :-)

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  2. Another superb set of images Douglas, How you get such good shots of the Martins (and Swallows) I'll never know...I have a job just to get them in the frame!! That first shot of the Hobby is a cracker too.
    Good to see that your creche..er!...garden is doing so well...[;o)

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    1. Thank you Trevor, I honestly struggle to keep the Martins and Swallows in the viewfinder. Early am and late pm they slow down a bit plus get them as they fly into the wind works well. There's some strange noises and behaviour going on in my garden I've got Jimmy the greyhound on garden/cat patrol ;-)

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  3. Great variety in this blog Douglas, observation and understanding routine is so important in understanding what makes birds tick ...... great job.

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    1. Cheers John, funnily out of all the birding I've done the last few days it was watching the fledglings in the garden made me chuckle and just enjoy the entertainment

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  4. Now that is what you call a "set-a-side", almost a meadow in its own right, shame more farmers/landowners don't do the same? Another great selection of images Doug, those Hobby shots have got me drooling!

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    1. Cheers Paul, what the photo of the set aside doesn't illustrate is the bit that dips down a hill, it's huge. I even commented on it to the farmer and actually said thanks

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