Monday, 29 December 2014

Bits and Bobs

Another one of those days where I had to fit my birding around running numerous errands...

At day break I was at Blueberry Farm where the air was crisp and clear and the ground white from the hard frost. As I watched the beautiful sunrise I regretted not taking my camera as a Barn Owl hunted low over the fields creating a magical scene. Other birds seen included a pair of Stonechat and a Woodcock.

Mid-morning found me in Northampton so I made a detour to Billing Garden Centre area for the Ring-necked Duck which has been viewed from the car sales office. A visiting birder arrived at the same time and we quickly located a small group of Tufted Duck and Gadwall but they were just in silhouette as they loitered in the direct sunlight. We walked from the garden centre and followed the main road towards the narrow bridge and we were able to 'scope the birds through the trees. The Ring-necked Duck was easy to pick out with it's distinctive head shape.

En-route back home a Great White Egret, 2 drake Smew and a Shelduck at Pitsford Reservoir were all visible from the causeway.

A visit to Harrington Airfield produced a male Peregrine, again in hunting mode after the numerous winter thrushes, 7 Grey Partridge and approx 50 Golden Plover.

I ended as I started by walking around Blueberry, this time enjoying the glorious red sky and sunset leaving behind a clear frosty sky dotted with bright stars.  Again I was fortunate to watch a Barn Owl hunting [Large Redgrass field] and also a Short-eared Owl which may be the bird from Harrington. 

Regards  Eleanor

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