Saturday, 5 May 2012

Stroll on Saturday

I spend far too much time in the car driving between birding sites and not enough time on my legs. Time in the field shouldn't equal time in the car. An unexpected bonus couple of hours this afternoon was therefore spent on foot.
Male Redstarts are just stunning aren't they? Twenty minutes along a quiet back road and I could hear the male below singing just ahead before it flicked across the road onto a low branch about eight feet above the ground and quivered. It shot back across into the hedge but was quickly out again on nearby branches and fence. Later another sang from a hidden perch in some broad-leaved woodland.

Away from the road across some rough grassland I came across what I thought was the remains of a Curlew, or at least a few feathers. Close by though I found a skull remnant that was not in the least curlew-like. Be interested in any thoughts on this one, was thinking Buzzard but seem to have got that spectacularly wrong! Though the feathers were almost certainly from a Curlew.

Heading back to the car in some fine spring sunshine I happened on a Short-eared Owl then another. I continued on and ahead of me my first Cuckoo of the year called seductively from the side of the road, before two cavorted through the hedgerow and lane. Back at the car I threw up the scope and waited at the end of the rough hillside they were hunting, I soon realised that there were not two but three Short-eared Owls floating about and pitching into the grass. A scan across the area also produced one of the Cuckoos perched up on a sapling protector some distance away whilst behind me a male began gently singing in earnest.


Stewart said...

Looks like a hen pheasant to me Alan, the bill isn't a raptor...

alan tilmouth said...

Ha, nice one!