Friday, 7 August 2015

JUVENILE LITTLE OWL

I'm not sure this is a juvenile, I'm sure Richard or Paul will let me know.
 It sadly was taken Thursday evening after the sun was obscured by the big earth mound on the quarry, in another words crap lighting. Birding the last few weeks has been in short supply for me lately, well I should actually say bird photography. I've done a fair bit of birding of sorts...let me elaborate and please stick with me.
I was working for a company called Norbert Dentressangle, a French haulage company, I never mentioned them on here to be fair, however we've been taken over by an American haulage firm called XPO and now I'm working on the Carlsberg brewery contract.  So currently getting a lot of training including at the brewery itself, where I got two Parakeets whilst on a ciggy break in the smoking shelter. However my place of work is actually on Swan Valley. Here's a quick map, not sure after seeing a Google Maps car recently why their aerial maps are so out of date.
A quick key to map: 1) is where I'm actually based. The map doesn't show the trees surrounding the warehouse. I've already seen a resident Buzzard which was a much needed welcome distraction from work and a Kestrel too. I've heard plenty of common birds and warblers too. In fact for an industrial estate which is more heavily built on then the (out of date) map suggests for example number 4) has not only warehouses but a new Housing Association estate in poor taste called Dragonfly Meadow...yeah maybe once. But it does has have some fascinating areas and wildlife on it Number 5) also more warehousing in fact the three roundabouts to the left of '5' to be more precise between the middle roundabout and top one is where I photographed a Barn Owl many years ago and blogged last year, it's listed on the left "weirdest  place you've birded"  Popular Post section  Number 6) Short eared Owls. Due to the concrete and flood plain area there's plenty of ditches like number 3) I've actually seen more Sedge Warblers here then I have in more rural locations also A LOT OF Pied Wagtails on the way home I stopped counting at 20, we even have one nesting in the truck wash which struts it's stuff on the trailers catching passing insects. Plenty of Chiff-Chaff and Whitethroats too. Number 2) is a lake where I've seen both adult and juvenile Kingfishers and occasionally a Canda/Greylag hybrid. I've seen Tufted Ducks too. But the best bird got me a slight telling off from our county recorder and with just reason.

Now to be fair I didn't think anyone had this as their patch. And I tweeted my sighting as it's a schedule one bird (I think) and thought it needed 'recording' and thought it was a wader on passage and not a breeding local wader. I was stood at the bus stop and could hear a very close Little Ringed Plover it was stood on the pavement a few feet away from me, no-one else about 15 other people!  even looked up from their smartphones. So I grabbed my smartphone to get a video of it (that close!) but typically it scurried off back to what I should've realised was it's breeding area, I've subsequently heard more then one bird, but also school kids riding bikes and playing football on the breeding site. I understand why I shouldn't have tweeted it's exact location (Street name and all) and been smart enough to have spotted a not so obvious but ironically perfectly/acciendental created breeding habitat in an industrial/urban setting. But given the bird, the location and what happened to the Barn Owl' s habitat I think it would make for an interesting story,  ie progress/loss of habitats and how we should 'leave' some established wild areas in place on these big grey areas but I'll leave that to better writers. I found a Greenshank near number 3 too, I even found a small party of Yellow Wagtails further away behind Cosworth's/Storton GP. Seen a Peregrine and even saw a juvenile peregrine sat on a overhead gantry at Junction 15a of the nearby motorway! Definately an interesting area.


10 comments:

  1. It is amazing that there is so much diversity in such an urban environment.
    I suspect you are happy about the takeover. I wouldn't have fancied spelling the old one.
    Great shots.

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    1. It amazed me the variety of wildlife on the area, winter will be interesting to see how it fairs. Really important impressed with the takeover you should try pronouncing the name, they even taught a method to pronounce it correctly lol

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  2. Interesting looking area Doug, surprising how much you've seen so close to the M1? Yes it is a juvenile little owl, 100%.

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    1. Cheers for the id help Paul, it's a useless flier lol. I know from local reports in the winter some people living nearby get Lesser Redpoll. I've had Snipe at number 6 in the winter before too.

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  3. Great to see you back on line Doug ..... no matter where you are there are birds ..... Industrial, woodland, scrub and unusual habitats there are currently birds around ...... long may it continue ......my concern is that pressures on habitat may mean they they are loosing ground ...... sad .

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    1. Sadly John I think you're 100% right. I remember (just) what this area was like pre-industrial units and houses and it's all on the flood plain too...madness.

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  4. Does this mean that you now get a weekly beer allowance?
    I hope your keeping a good ratio between work time and birding time Douglas...biased towards the birding, of course?...[;o)

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    1. Every Friday they have a staff shop down at the brewery, we get discounts on a whole range of other goodies on line too, sadly not cameras and at Xmas you get a crate or two as well. It's been mostly work related sadly at the moment but I've returned to normal service now.

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  5. Just catching up, Doug, after a long absence. I love the Little Owl image - great location!

    How amazing is your industrial estate as a 'local patch'! If you're not careful you'll be spending all your time 'at work'!

    Super tern images.

    Best wishes - - - - Richard

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    1. The juvenile owl had a close call on Saturday a female sprawk tried to snatch it luckily it scrambled underneath the rock and left empty handed.
      Please don't give my bosses ideas :-)

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