It came very close yesterday to being the first completely 'precipitation free' day of the year, let down only by a passing shower soon after midnight and a small amount of hail mid-afternoon. On the face of it, we could crack it today - so fingers crossed! Although we put a few hours in the field by and large it came to naught except maybe for an inordinate number of
c15 on Merritown Heath alone and while not counted a likely 50
in total across the rest of the Recording Area.
on Parley Pond,
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER
and a pair of
on the Irrigation Pond that was you're lot!
OR WAS IT?
Why 'Dusk Patrols' have only ever been the preserve of Spring and Summer is not really known, maybe the thought of a roast dinner and a drop of decent Claret keep us firmly in our little warm metal box, but late yesterday afternoon was the exception. At 16:00 we cut across to Merritown Heath with just 2 thoughts in mind Woodcock and Owls and of the latter with such ideal habitat here why not think big and and focus on Short-eared Owl? On arrival at the favoured vantage point, where most of the Moor is open to view, a
was still hunting and having a deal of success catching 2 small Rodents
as we sat there. A
crossed the track as a total of c13
flew off to roost as did a number of
It was 16:55 that we presume the Kestrel wrapped its hand it but if
it could see us we sure couldn't see it.
let out a series of calls appearing to be heading for the new
Balancing Pond where they have been recorded before, which is
when 2 of the Crows returned and appeared to be acting strangely.
They were, in fact they were mobbing a
front of the car and watched to fly across the Heath and more or less
over the gate onto Parley Court Farm.
A RESULT? - NOT HALF!
were here from opposing directions and so onward to the Phase III
Solar Panel Compound where in recent days the night security guard
had claimed to have seen
As reported, there one was caught in the car headlights quartering the grassland within the compound, but quickly disappeared from view, but nonetheless constitutes my first sighting within the Recording Area. While a personal claim was made back in 2008 of a 'calling' bird, anecdotal evidence points to this Owl having bred on the farm for many years prior to that. It is hoped this might be a revival.
This has been an extra Post to report a most exciting 90 minutes here, with all of the images from Kestrel down, having been lifted from the archive simply for illustration. The Barn Owl image comes from Wikipedia (we have never been lucky enough!)