Saturday, 2 February 2013

Almost An Owl Fest.

There was a ground frost as I unlocked the gate to the obs this morning and the wind was a biting northerly. However, it was exceptionally clear and the views were stupendous. Starting from the east I could see the Bowland Fells, to the south Snowdonia, across the Irish Sea I could see the Isle of Man with the mountain of Snaefell peeking above the horizon, the Lakeland Fells to the north and then round to the Yorkshire Dales!

As I headed along the track a ghostly figure flipped over the hedge and a Barn Owl hunted along the embankment in front of me. As I headed towards the sea wall I picked up the/a Short-eared Owl hunting over the 'rough' fields and later on I saw this bird again hunting over the dunes.

There's always Gorse in flower, but at this time of year it does make you 
think of Spring!

Pink-footed Geese were arriving at the farm fields across the road and I counted 530 dropping in. I had a quick look on the sea and it was quiet other than eight Eiders, a single Red-throated Diver, four Common Scoters and two Auk species. Part of the reason it was so quiet was that the tide was a long way out as it was just about bang on low water.

I called at the Marine Lakes to feed the Turnstones and surprisingly 43 were roosting on the island along with 52 Redshanks. I say surprisingly as it was low water and there was plenty of feeding opportunities for them out in the Bay.

 Redshanks and Turnstones

A quick look on the pools soon had me heading east to my farmland bird feeding station because of the obscene amount of disturbance from dog walkers!

 Blue and empty pools, scene of yesterday's red head Smew

I had a short walk on the moss after feeding and recorded two Grey Partridges, five Roe Deer, 92 Tree Sparrows, 25 Chaffinches, three Song Thrushes, 11 Corn Buntings and three Redwings. On my way off the moss I had my third species of owl of the day in the form of a Little Owl in it's usual spot, making today almost an Owl fest!


Warren Baker said...

Those pools looks excellent for wildlife. Shame about all the Dog walkers :-(

The Hairy Birder said...

This particularly site used to be brilliant Warren and then the County Council who own it decided to develop it into a Nature Park. It's the word 'park' that's the problem, as people read it as meaning a site for recreation. I often wonder if it would have been different if they had called it a nature reserve.