Whos keeping an eye on me....

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Barn Owl 3

Another update 
Persistence paid off when one of the youngsters eventually showed. I think this is the adult female as well. The male preened in the tree above the nest hole. I presume there maybe other juveniles still hunkered down, but this one looks like it’s ready to take some long flying lessons very soon.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Barn Owl 2

 Another post and update

Still only seen the one adult and this evening pretty much the same result as most other visits before dusk. Sits happily, nods off, scratches, looks round and sometimes is bothered to actually look at me. 



Monday, 28 June 2021

Barn Owl

A nice local bird at an undisclosed site. Had a pleasant hour with it last evening, it only flew once probably to strtch its wings and resumed its perch where in nodded off every now and again while keeping alert to the noisy Chiffchaffs that flitted around the same tree.


Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Common Cuckoo

Arriving into the UK a little later than usual the Cuckoo had been scarce on my local walks until recently. A walk with Liz from Bottom of the Oven towards Wildboarclough we spent some time enjoying the spring flowers while a Common Redstart called. A Cuckoo flew directly over my head and out of sight but called for a good while.

I decided to return the next day with my camera and was lucky enough to have it calling again but this time out in the open and flying from wire to wire. 

It was constantly harassed by a number of Meadow Pipits which meant it didn’t stay still for long periods.  

It was good to get a new Moth for my life list with this day flying Mother Shipton. 

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.



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