Sunday, 27 December 2015

Shake Hands With Shorty......... a cracking album by southern blues rock band North Mississippi Allstars and I was virtually shaking hands with Shorty's this morning!

I haven't had a walk around the farm fields for a while and I was keen to get going this morning as it was the first decent day for weeks! Amazingly at first light I had clear skies with a light southeasterly wind.

A lot of the fields were flooded, as you can imagine, and had Gulls feeding and bathing on them including 112 Herring Gulls, 293 Black-headed Gulls and 103 Common Gulls. A Goldcrest called from the copse and a Reed Bunting called from a reedy ditch and that was it for those two species.

The stars of the morning were undoubtedly the 'Shorties' or Short-eared Owls to be precise. I had a definite three different birds and there was probably a fourth. I was so close to them at times that I could hear them hissing at each other if they came too close to each other when hunting.

 Short-eared Owl

On the owl front I was also delighted to see a Barn Owl and managed to locate where it is roosting, and fingers crossed nesting next year, but on a sad note I also found a dead Barn Owl. As you know Barn Owls struggle to feed when there is continual rain and I guess this bird became desperate to feed and succumbed to the poor conditions.

A Grey Heron and four Snipes on the wetland was all I had until a Rock Pipit flew over as I walked to my seawatching position. The sea was very quiet and I had diddly squat other than fourteen Pink-footed Geese heading north.

On the way home I had a look on the 'geese fields' and there were 600 'Pinkies', but there was nothing else amongst them.

 Pink-footed Geese

If the forecast is decent tomorrow I'm going to treat Gail to a morning's birding on the marshes; I bet she can't wait!

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