Whos keeping an eye on me....

Monday, 7 June 2021

Long Eared Owl

A fairly local pair of Long Eared Owls have bred for a second year. This adult has given distant but very good views while hunting late evening. The chicks were noisy and are presumed still on the nest. Fading light and distance never help image quality but this was probably the best I was going to get in the circumstance. A great bird to see, I just need to revisit a few times to see if I can get the pair hunting, or even better the get to see the young hunting before they leave the site. 







  


Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Common Redstart

Mornings birding with Jeff to track down a couple of migrants not yet seen this year. The Goyt Valley was fairly quiet with 4 Pied Flycatcher and a quick song from a Redstart that we never saw or heard again. A quick stop at Danebower didn't produce a Ring Ouzel but we managed 4 Golden Plover nearby.

Back at Jeffs home we walked the reservoir where we eventually managed a female Common Redstart that showed well and right at the death we managed to find of the singing males. A Tree Pipit flew in to ensure the morning finished well.

                                                      
                                                             Common Redstart female

Monday, 3 May 2021

Two owls species, two trees, two hundred yards apart

A local patch that provides two species of Owl within a few hundred yards of each other.

A pair of Little Owls are quite conspicuous and fairly cooperative, while a Tawny Owl is certainly inconspicuous as it roosts outside its nest hole.

 Little Owl 

You cant hide ......


Very inconspicuous Tawny Owl

ah, there you are...

 

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

All Targets missed


A localish afternoons birding with Jeff to try and get some early migrants. Goyt valley and Danebower on the Cheshire Derbyshire border is a reliable area for a few species that would be good to get in early spring. Cuckoo, Tree Pipit, Common Redstart, Pied Flycatcher and Ring Ouzel.
 
Danebower

 

 

We started at Danebower which would have only given us the Ring Ouzel... unfortunately it didn’t. Meadow Pipit and Northern Wheatear were the best we could do.

                                       Northern Wheatear



A short drive to the Goyt valley is the area to pick up the rest of the targets. Cuckoo is a bit of a lottery at the best of times and although there have been a few calling Cuckoos in the county during the last week it is in reality still a little too early. The reliable spot for Pied Flycatcher and Common Redstart was extremely quiet of most bird life, again sightings in the county have started to come in, so it will only be a matter of days rather than weeks. Along with a Common Sandpiper this Treecreeper was the best we could muster.

  

A stop at Sparbent on the Danebower road to see if Ring Ouzel were there also failed but it was nice to get a year tick with 8 Golden Plover that were flighty and too distant to photograph. A single Lapwing and Red Grouse were a nice compliment to the day as were plenty of Curlew coming into roost. 

Northern Lapwing


Red Grouse

 
I finished off with a drop down to Wildboarclough to see the resident Dipper. Luckily a pair were very active collecting food, probably for the newly born They look to have Mayfly.



As the post title suggests all the target birds were missed as was the planned pint as Covid has shut the local pub. Fresh air, good weather, a catch up with a pal and a few good birds ensured the afternoon wasn't a complete let down.
 

 

 

 


 

 


Saturday, 10 April 2021

Swinhoe’s pheasant

Swinhoe`s pheasant

Endemic to the central mountains of Taiwan

A very striking bird and high on anyones life list. It is fairly common when in the right areas. I often found them at the roadside as we climbed the mountain . The below images show the Male, Female and juvenile (if you look closely on the juvenile image an adult is just peeking in).

Images taken from my tour of the island in 2019






 


Friday, 19 March 2021

Creatures of the night

Badgers and Foxes visit every evening looking for scraps. I only put the trail cam out once a week or so and usually capture video footage. I set it on stills last night and got this shot of them together.


Badger wins every time and takes absolutely no notice of the nervous Fox.