Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Yawny Owl?

Little tardy updating here, the owl video is from a couple of weekends ago. The location is... somewhere... along the Trent near Hoveringham, South Notts. Between the large flooded gravel pits and the river that location is a real corridor for birdlife. To add to our Tawny Owl there, Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Redshank, Goldeneye and Green Woodpecker were the best of a quiet visit. Come the Spring the place will be heaving with Common Terns and Yellow Wagtails.

As for any link between owl and river I think that is purely coincidental on this occasion, however Tawnies do apparently take fish. That said, it'd be one helluva reckless owl that took a dip in a river that large.

Monday, 9 February 2009

A most elegant Snowman?

Worst bird video ever? You decide.

What you can see there is a Great White Egret, the ridiculous big yellow bill is the key feature from this view. It's been hanging around some small fishing lakes a bit SW of Derby for the last week or so, which continues the tour of the Midlands this bird has been on for months now, all of this a fair way off from the East Europe it really belongs in.
Haven't my life list to hand, the GWE takes me up to #214 or something like that.

Rubbish view, cold day, stood at the roadside, great bird, and it's all worthwhile.

Oh, as I type there's a 1st-year male Reed Bunting feeding in the snow on my patio, three weeks in and that's #27 for the garden list.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Snow Surprise

Well that's nice, the first Pied Wagtail in my parents' garden - ever - so far as I can remember and my family has lived here for over 25 years. The bird is still out there now, occupying the rim of the bird bath while more snow is falling.
It's one clear reminder for how providing access to water really can make all the difference for a lot of birds.

Monday, 2 February 2009


It couldn't really happen, could it? There's no way I'd miss seeing Waxwings during their greatest irruption for some say 20 years. Well of course! The girlfriend and I finally connected with the Tibshelf massive which were hanging out in a school car park, up to nine birds while we were there but as many as 22 at other times. They were gorging on the fruiting trees, shared with not terrible hospitality with the local Mistle Thrushes and one Fieldfare.

Elsewhere in the county there are reports of more than 200 Waxwings in Ilkeston, which gives a handle on the kinds of numbers that have hit the UK this winter. Flocks of 1000+ in Scotland.
The girlfriend thinks they're plumage recalls some kind of exotic foreign dress, not a million miles away from geisha costume. That's one description of them I can certainly abide with.

While I type a glance out of the patio window here at my parents' house and I see 11 Blackbirds which is a probable record for the half tennis court or so of garden out there. 4 inches of snow and they've downed all arms, as they should in winter, almost tolerating one another - save for one really pissed off territorial male.

Had planned to volunteer at the Carsington ABB tomorrow, doesn't look like the weather will allow this.

Here's a video of the Waxwings shot by the girlfriend...

Be sure to select the HQ option in the bottom right corner or it'll look like the bad bootleg copy of the original. Better yet, you can select a High Definition version here. Listen out for their call too.

Happy birdwatching everybody, it's back to flatpack furniture for me.