Friday, April 29, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
When I left the house this morning, I had no real plan, other than to stay away from the coast, as I thought that it would get very busy.
I stopped briefly at Arcot, where a Lesser Whitethroat in the hedge was new for the year, before carrying on and ending up at Beacon Hill.
I wasn’t prepared for a Cuckoo, that flew over as I was getting the gear out of the car. It landed out of sight and called for a short while, before it then moved off into the distance. I gave it an hour in the hope it would come back to the top of the moor. While waiting, a Tree Pipit was displaying. A few pictures were taken…
Tree Pipit, in a tree, this reminded me of a shot I took the other day…
…of a Meadow Pipit in a tree.
Walking back towards the wood, a Tawny Owl is heard calling, in broad daylight. I spend ages looking for it, and failing to see it, so I give up and check out a couple of Redstart.
Walking back to the car, the owl starts to call again, this time I find it…
Marty and Liz arrive on their bikes and I spend a while talking with them, until another birder came back up the hill to say that he had another Tawny Owl…
Not long after I arrived first thing this morning, another car pulled up behind me and a birder got out, no “good morning” or “anything about”, no none of that. “Has someone posted something about this place on a website? Every time I come here it’s dripping with birders” I nearly chose to not answer but it just slipped out “Yeah, I’ve been coming here for thirty years and I’ve never seen you here before”
So, anyway, after I left, I followed a tip off from Marty, I went and saw Little Owl. It didn’t sit still for pictures, but I did have a good look at it.
I then drove home via the Wryneck-less West Hartford.
And then, this evening I went out for an hour. Lesser and Common Whitethroat, Sedge and Grasshopper Warbler recorded and my third owl species of the day; Long-eared Owl.
I’m still unable to upload the bird songs, still no idea why.
Friday, April 22, 2011
An unexpected day off today, so I made the most of it!
I was at my chosen location by 07:30, in the hope of a bit of song, and possibly some pictures.
At the first stop, a Cuckoo was belting it out, but that was playing second fiddle to what I could see beyond; four Raven were having a bit of a territorial scrap. A quick change of view point had me much closer (although still too far for pictures or recordings). The Ravens were really going at it, dog fights over a wood and toward a crag, and as they approached the crag, a bullet of a bird came hurtling at them; Peregrine. It escorted them off with some big stoops. The Ravens went, but were still fighting among themselves.
Leaving them in peace, I moved on, only to be stopped in my tracks by a Black Grouse. First time I’ve had Black Grouse here.
There were plenty of Wheatear on show, some of them even posed…
…and Skylarks were out in force…
…and a Pied Wagtail sat still for me.
It was good to be able to take pictures today; I recently dropped my camera and lens to the deck. I feared the worst, but everything seemed ok, until Wednesday, when the camera and the 1.4 detached themselves from the lens and went bouncing along the road at Chevington! Again I feared the worst, but all seemed fine, until I tried to take a picture; nothing. Shit!!!
It turned out to be very simple; two very, very lose screws, easily fixed, and it all seems ok, for now.
I have many new recordings, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. For some reason, I can’t upload them to xeno-canto, no idea why. Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Common Sandpiper are just a few of them.