OUT FOR THE LITTLE OWLS AND A VISIT TO JUBILEE WOOD.
We decided this week to make our trip out a visit round the Little Owl sites with our lunch, and then back towards home and a visit to Jubilee Wood as a Hen Harrier had been seen for several days and Richard had a visit on the Wednesday but the bird had not come very close.
So Richard arrived at the normal time on Thursday the 4th of February and we got under way to check our Little Owls, we arrived at Site 1 at 12.07 hrs and sat to the front of the tree was a Little Owl, we couldn't pull onto the verge as it was so wet from all the rain, so I stopped the car in the road and Richard managed a couple of images but before he could take some on my camera, a car came up behind us so we had to move as the road is very narrow, When we reversed back the bird had moved but at least we had seen a bird. The next sites were non productive until we arrived at Site No. 18 where an adult sat in the nest hole so I took a quick image, it was only after this and checking the image I found I had switched the O.S. on the lens off so the images were no good. We arrived at Site No. 9 and indulged in our lunch but no bird was seen at 9, 10 or 15, so after lunch we moved on to Site No. 12 but no birds were seen here. We started our return journey and retraced our route back and saw a bird at Site No. 9, the bird was well back in the hole. So after last weeks nil, we had seen three birds. So we headed for Jubilee Wood happy with the results with the Little Owls and arrived at about 14.40 hrs and made our way down to the hide getting some images of skylarks on the way.
We arrived at the Hide and nothing had been seen of the Hen Harrier or the Barn Owls that Richard had seen on the Wednesday. Eventually at about 16.30 hrs a Barn Owl showed a good distance away and landed in a tree where it sat for a good while. In the meantime Richard had spotted another bird which flew a bit closer to us, initially we thought we had only got one bird but when Richard said the bird was flying and the one we had spotted still sat in the tree we had the two.
We kept vigil in the hide until approx 16.40 hrs and then had to leave as the gates to the car park are locked at 17.00 hrs. So today became a five owl day with three Little Owls and two Barn Owls.
Then on Friday 5th having done some jobs at home I decided at about 15.00 hrs to make a quick visit back to Jubilee Wood to see if the Hen Harrier would appear even though it had become very windy. It eventually made a fleeting visit at 16.00 hrs and was a long distance away and was flying with the wind behind it, and as one of the gents in the hide said, we were waiting for the sonic boom at the speed it was going. So I saw the Hen Harrier but only really got some record shots but after the initial visit it landed on the ground and when it reappeared it flew away from us towards the wood and that was the last we saw of it. A Barn Owl appeared very briefly at 16.10 hrs and after this I headed back to the car park and home as it was a meeting of the bird club that evening.
Having also visited my farmer friends on Wednesday, Margaret has seen two Little Owls twice in the tree by the box, and when I left on Saturday after watching the England, Scotland game. A Little Owl sat below the box.
4th February 2016.
On the walk down to the hide we saw several Skylarks, all singing constantly but at times very difficult to find. This one had just finished climbing and was just starting to descend.
This bird was still gaining height.
Ringed bird sat for a while on this staging then had a fly about calling and returned to virtually the same spot.
Just a little farther down the staging from the Oystercatcher.
Several ducks are on the lake with a reasonable number of Wigeon on the far side.
The first one seen and sat in this tree for a reasonable length of time.
Long distance shot.
This is the bird spotted by Richard flying initially towards us but never came really close. On most of my images the white has almost burnt out.
Still flying towards us.
Two Barn Owls.
In this image Richards bird is to the front and the bird I first saw is the white in the tree behind.
Seemed very strange the birds were out so early.
The bird had flown behind the hide and was farther across the site here trying to catch something in between the tree planting. No sign of the bird having been ringed.
5th February 2016.
With the wind behind it this bird was travelling at a great speed and was also a long distance away. Sorry for the quality of the images but only kept as record shots. I will try again if and when we get some reasonable weather.
Thank you for your visit, please feel free to leave a comment. I think we will all be grateful when we get some decent weather.
Sorry for the quality of some of the images.