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Friday, 27 July 2012

It's NOT a Barn Owl but gold

I have been remiss lately in not posting and much to catch up on, then again you probably would have become bored with constant posts on Common Terns.

I also have to say, I have perhaps become a little disheartened with this bleedin weather, not being able to get out because of the rain, lack of sunshine, poor light and one thing and another (and to illustrate the point further, down at Preston Docks, to the west, heavy dark grey clouds threatening a battering downpour or two and to the east, blue sky and fluffy white clouds and I was right on the edge of the two, neither one or t'other – unbelievable).

It was one of those typical days we have had lately, sun breaking out as I left home yet raining by the time I got to the end of the street and so it stayed all day – couldn't make its mind up (mind you forecast was just 'miserable' so any sunshine was a bonus).

I was homeward bound 'over Pilling' (I know my way around but not detail of where I am! sounds about right!) and I was in a self-imposed conundrum about which way to get home... the fast way, that way or this way... I'd seen a barn owl this way some months ago... sixth sense.

Thankfully the car is automatic, so I don't have to worry about clutch and gear changes, just as well, the sixth sense kicked in again, check road, check mirror, stand on the brakes, find somewhere sensible to pull up – and there on the top of a pole was an Owl, not a Barn Owl but a Little Owl. I love Little Owls – they'd win all the Olympic Gold Medals in whatever event they were in – cos 'we're 'ard'.

So here's the gold medals, a number of images all of the same bird to illustrate what a difference the light makes... it was constantly changing and a bit closer as I did 'trapper' impressions.

is it just me or is 'blogger' interface a bag of spanners now?

Crackin bird tho!

Monday, 9 July 2012


I've certainly been howling, not just at the moon lately (have you seen the size of it – if you have you've done well with all the cloud cover we've had), but as well as howling at the moon, also been howling at the internet provider, at my web browsers, note plural now reinstalled (having now lost all my ten years of bookmarks), howling with cabin fever with all the rain we've had (and thinking of the wildlife) and a confirmed first for me, which got the loudest howl, 'yahoooowl'; remembering I haven't been at this birding too long.

Back in June, I chose the best forecast day of the week for a trip up to the Trough (of Bowland), to an area I've been visiting since not long after Eng er land won the World Cup (at football, 1966 for you non sport fans).

Anyway, it was atrocious...

A couple of Mippits on the way up, a Buzzard and a distant raptor unidentified, a Kestrel and a male Linnet. I was hoping I might photograph some Sand Martins and I did but they are all rubbish (photos not the Sand Martins which were great viewing). No sign of any Pied Flycatchers, two Grey Wagtail, a number of Common Sandpipers on the beck, calling Curlew and Oystercatchers and a Willow Warbler. A male Common Redstart, my confirmed first, clouds sitting on top of Tower Lodge and surrounding hills. I bumped into the 'two Bills' and was delighted to share their company – I wish them well with the Bowland Raptor Group.

All in all a pretty dismal day that I thoroughly enjoyed!

(as you can see the photos are grim and nothing more than a record, and perhaps of interest to those of you who know the area well)

Is it just me, or have I missed something? I know I have been away for a day or two, but 'Blogger' appears to have gone backwards... typical Google, 'improvements' – that aren't!

Oh and some numptie decided to come and park and sit next to my motor parked in a secluded spot, when I had disappeared out of sight, he couldn't see me but I could see him – I returned fairly quickly to the car – you can't be too careful, decidely dodgy! Maybe he was just another birder... I don't think so! Just bear it in mind when out and about.

Oh and don't ask me why, I don't know why, but I chose not to use the accelerator from just above Calder Vale and 'coasted' (it's automatic) all the way down to the A6, only stopping at junctions and slowly using the 'gas' pedal again where necessary, mostly doing about 30mph and only braking once for a tight turn. I don't know how much petrol I saved, but it was an interesting experiment. (I wouldn't recommend 'coasting' without the engine switched on, everything is going to seize up, if you know what I mean, oil pump, assisted brakes, assisted steering etc). I spent most of my life racing from one meeting to another, not any more... it didn't do me any good!

Meadow Pipits (on heather, despite their name!)

looking er, west, you can see my house from here , or one I used to live in,
(well not far off, just to the right and below the water tower at Warbrck Hill, just off frame, adjacent to Bispham Marsh)

cloud cover on Grisedale Fell and Hawthornthwaite Fell

incoming Sand Martin

bouquet of barbed wire and Spotted Flycatcher

Willow Warbler

Common Sandpiper

typical vista, Common Sandpiper on the beck

Male Common Redstart... yahoooowl, my confirmed first

I was just getting back in the car, when I spotted this beauty

above Tower Lodge!

Meadow Pipit

'canyatellwhatitisyet'? The sun came out for literally two minutes, ALL DAY! Sand Martin with fecal sac.

archetypal image of the Trough at 'lights out'. Goodnight all.