Sunday, January 31, 2010

Woodcock's demise...

As I was at the sink, first thing, making a cuppa, a bird flew right over our house and away across the back field. 'Merlin' I called to Jane, who came to see what the noise was about( I dont think she was really bothered...). The bird then pitched up into a hedgerow tree and I thought it was just going to be a Kestrel. Grabbing the bins I was pleased to see that my first call was right, a female Merlin ,in view from our kitchen sink, perched up the tree. I took an opportunist shot through the window before it continued on its hunting way...



Above - A poor shot of the Merlin...

I then went and did a couple of atlas tetrads nearby.



Above - This square didn't hold much...



Above - Its a lonely life, atlassing...



Then when you do find something, its already been shot. Like things aren't hard enough for Woodcock already...

The highlights of both squares were 115 Tufted Duck on Longhoughton Quarry, 3 Buzzards, a pair of displaying Sparrowhawks, a small flock of Yellowhammers and a live Woodcock flushed in the first square, but only the shot signs in the second...

At home, only the Merlin really...apart from a few Snowdrops in flower, and the Winter Aconites are out in Denwick church yard too. Once this snow goes we'll start to see more signs of spring, I'm sure...

7 comments:

Dean said...

'Merlin' I called.
It just shows you Stewart. Even without bins, the experience of "jizz" is a valuable fieldcraft.

Stewart said...

Yes I thinks so too....

St Ives Birds & Photo Journal said...

Keeping things optimistic Stewart, I can definitely "smell" spring down here. We've had some very dry settled weather this last week.
I agree entirely with the "jizz" thing. I've picked up so many birds because of it. It's a very valuable tool to have. And in the negative sense too, eg when you recognise something has a "jizz" you're not familiar with.

St Ives Birds & Photo Journal said...

Yes Stewart, that's what I meant in a round about way :)

oldcrow61 said...

That first shot of the scenery is beautiful.

Chris Paice (Cumbria) said...

Visiting the area on the 31st, we walked through the snow from Boulmer up to Howdiemont Bay & back late in the afternoon. High tide: what an amazing spectacle! Thousands of birds on the remaining scraps of beach & flying about. Small gulls, plus the usual range of shore birds, including scores of bar-wits. No chance to spend time scanning for rarities (my wife Kathy was afraid of dying of cold) but there were at least some purps among the hordes. Unexpectedly, both on our way out and back, a fieldfare flew up from the beach and off inland. Why don't we come and live here???

Stewart said...

Hi Chris I'm glad you enjoyed your visit and hope you will return. PS Dont tell anyone I dont want too many visitors ;)