Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The birds of Wednesday.


Despite spending quite a bit of time out and about today and enjoying the spring sunshine of this morning, it seemed relatively quiet for birds.

Fieldfares and Redwings are very much on the move and already the large flocks are dwindling to much smaller ones. Finches, Meadow Pipits, wagtails and gulls are also busy moving through and probably mostly under the radar, Blackbirds, Robins and wildfowl are doing much the same thing. All are trying to navigate themselves in to an area suitable for breeding and to arrive there in the best possible condition.

Eleanor's daily walk in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton provided an observation of a Common Buzzard tucking into something pretty substantial on the ground. She went over to investigate to find that the Buzzard was eating a Barn Owl - presumably one of the two regular birds she sees (or did see) most days! The Barn Owl was bearing a ring so we will find out in due course from where it originated. Barn Owls are occasionally predated by a variety of raptors including Peregrine and Common Buzzard but this is our first confirmed instance. Over the last twenty years we have found a couple of remains around Blueberry Farm indicating predation but couldn't confirm the identity of the predator.

The Kelmarsh Estate woodlands were very spring-like this morning but I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Pitsford Reservoir also seemed quiet although the Slavonian Grebe was still in the vicinity of the Pintail Bay and other observations included a Grey Wagtail and a Peacock butterfly!


Neil M

Barn Owl.

Common Buzzard.

Peacock butterfly.

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