Sunday, 25 March 2012

Back to Clougha.....

....and a couple of 'crests'.

Goldcrest Warren Baker  

First the Goldcrest, one of the more difficult birds to photograph, ever-active during non-stop searches for food preferably in conifers. The smallest of European birds with a noticeable shortish tail, a bird I always note to have a remarkably plain face with dark beady eyes. WB's Goldcrest certainly doesn't look very active and gave him the opportunity to achieve this brilliant image.

Tomorrow - especially with the weather being as it is at the moment and record levels of high temperatures are being recorded - the plan is to escape and get myself back on to Clougha and Birk Bank primarily to check out the Stonechat situation. I'm hoping to see some evidence of birds having returned here and being we are approaching the end of March egg laying may have commenced. 

An interesting point to note is that several instances of nest building by the female have been recorded taking place in the late afternoon, but indications are that she usually builds in the early morning. There is a remarkable record of a female Stonechat visiting an active Carrion Crow nest when the adults were absent and removing sheep's wool as lining for her own nest. The Stonechat never fails to intrigue me and is the mainstay of my passion for this complex bird. Other notes I have made regarding the female is that she usually chooses the nest site and does so alone with the male remaining at a discreet distance, though still following her about during her forays for nesting material.

Hopefully tomorrow I can also pay a visit to another stronghold of the Stonechat - until the past winter put an end to it - at Harrisend.

And to end with....

Firecrest Marc Heath

Similar in looks, the same in size, and non stop searching for food in the conifers the Firecrest is the other 'crest' difficult to photograph but MH has taken the opportunity with this individual to good effect. Unlike the Goldcrest the Firecrest has a distinct face pattern of bold white eyebrow and prominent black eye stripe. Thanks to Warren and Marc for allowing me to share these excellent photographs on Birds2blog.

And finally....

If you own an aircraft you need to get it fired up and head off to the Scilly Isles where on St Mary's at Port Hellick if your lucky you'll find a Scop's Owl, seen there at 8.10pm about twenty minutes before I posted this.


Martin Jump said...

Seen a pair today at clougha on my way up,no sign on way down.

Pete Woodruff said...

That is EXCELLENT news Martin and I thanks very much for passing it on to me, a much more exciting prospect for me tomorrow now that I know this.

Thanks again Martin, and for visiting Birds2blog.

Warren Baker said...

Looks like you could get lucky with the Stonechats then pete, god luck :-)

Noushka said...

Great pictures of a cute little bird!
Wish I could see those!
Great article too!
Cheers and happy birding!