Saturday, 29 October 2011

Having A Hoot

Yeah I know Short-eared Owls don't go 'hoot' - but it's called 'poetic license' I'm told!

The weather was stunning yesterday morning, and I decided to spend the best part of it up around the Beer Cemetery fields. As I stepped out the car four Crossbills flew over east - it was going to be good!

The highlight(s) came whilst wandering through the 'Richard's Pipit field'. I picked up a Short-eared Owl towards Branscombe, it circled and always gained height, before cruising off high north. I took another few steps forward, the grass rustled and another Short-eared Owl appeared, about ten foot in front of me...


Which soon landed in a nearby hedgerow...


After about ten minutes, it took to the air again, and seemed to spend ages just flying around giving cracking views...


And here's a little video....



The last I saw of this bird was when it drifted off towards Beer Head.

By the end of my wander, at least 17 Crossbills had flown east; the four, a flock of 11 and at least two 'heard only'. Several small groups of Siskins and Skylarks also flew over, but in all directions!

The best of the grounded migrants (except the Owl) was two Lesser Redpolls again with the Meadow Pipit flock. Still no Red-throated or OBP, but there's time yet....

Despite checking several other sites yesterday, I couldn't turn anything else up, a colour-ringed Great Black-backed Gull (ringed on 28/6/10 in Calvados, France) and the Lower Bruckland Cetti's Warbler (which has moved to the lower pond now) being the best.

I didn't have chance for any birding today, although from the garden this morning a few Redwings, Siskins and a Redpoll flew over.

As well as all this birding I've been enjoying, and working obviously - I've had a net up in the garden for a couple of short spells over the last few days. A nice big but fat-less Blackbird must have originated from somewhere east of here, this Goldcrest was my second for the garden...


But this was the highlight...


Have I gone mad!? It's a Blue Tit - yes it is just a Blue Tit! But this Blue Tit was ringed before it flew into my net!

Ok, so it hasn't come that far - Fraser Rush ringed it as a pullus in a nest box in Holyford Woods on 18th June this year. I know that doesn't sound much, but fellow ringers will know re-catching a Tit ringed as a pullus isn't a regular thing! I wonder how its two siblings are faring!?

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