Friday, 13 May 2011

More like March than May.

Yes its another of those through the windscreen 'sit in your car and sulk' pictures whilst hoping this lot will pass over.  I just got back to the motor before it came falling from the sky following an excellent return visit to Barbondale to see if there was anything to add to the last one on 28 April, but it was more like 12 March than May, but despite this I just had this compulsive feeling I needed to get back here and check out the bird-life.

The birds were keeping their heads down in a cloudy and pretty stiff cold wind and I found just one male Redstart today despite my 2.5 hours visit, also one Tree Pipit which actually gave excellent views as it flew up to parachute back down several times and landing on a fencepost just a few metres away. The excellent news from here was that I found three pairs of Pied Flycatcher, an all time personal record in my 120 years coming here....yes 120 years! I'm not well up on the history of Barbondale, but in my experience this is not - and never has been - a Pied Flycatcher stronghold.  Also noted, a Green Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Buzzard, Kestrel, and a Coal Tit. OK, now this is not impressive stuff for Barbondale, but obviously if the weather had been as it should have been on a beautiful 12 May morning the picture would have been much different.

The PF's aside, my best encounter was, as I stood motionless I must have looked like a tree to a Tawny Owl which flew at low level directly towards me and landed on the branch of a tree not 12 ft above my head, it flew off again about two minutes later....MAGIC!  

And finally....

Dotterel. David Cookson

The Dotterel are still being seen on a protracted passage period in our area with a female found on the top of Whit Moor yesterday, and....

Wheatear. Geoff Gradwell

Lots of Wheatear are now on territory in our area.


David Cookson said...

Lovely abstract photo from you car Pete.....It's good when you have a close encounter with an Owl, it really gets the adrenalin flowing.

Richard Shilling said...

Ah, but April was like June so it all equals out in the end!

I went up to check out the Stonechats today at lunchtime, pleased to say there is a pair there. However while I was watching them from the path a Grouse spooked right by my feet doing the injured bird impression. She and her mate flew off in a circle landing a 100 yards away. Then I saw a few less than ten chicks only a few feet away scurrying through the heather, they stayed in a group and I moved away from there as quickly as I could so they would not scatter and the parents could return. I was right on the path and really couldn't do anything about it though. I really hope they don't abandon their chicks when disturbed? I'll be extremely gutted if that is a possibility. They were interesting to see and had very striking markings but I'd rather just see a photo than have any detrimental affect.

Yours worryingly!


Warren Baker said...

May is more like March because April was more Like June!!! :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

A great experience David. Thanks for the pics by the way whilst I'm here.

Don't reckon the grouse will abandon the chicks Rich so no need to worry. Good to hear you had a pair of Stonechat on there too, I'd best be having another look around my self again soon.

Yes Rich/Warren, point taken about April being like June but did'nt make my visit here today any more enjoyable, excellent PF results though.

David Cookson said...

Pete, I like the abstract photo from your car window....lovely to here your experience of a close encounter with the owl, it does get the adrenalin going and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Pete Woodruff said...

Ahhhh, re-posted my 'lost' comments man.

Yes as I said in the post re the Tawny Owl....Magic.