Saturday, 7 April 2018

Bits and Bobs

The Barn Owl was again hunting the field edges this morning below Hanging Houghton whilst a Common Buzzard sat in its usual bush watching the owl intently. Fingers crossed that it doesn't become breakfast like it's mate did a few weeks ago !!
Then it was off to Staverton for my weekly agility training. It was ominously quiet today, no Ravens . I noticed that there has been quite a bit of work done in the belt of conifers which these birds frequent so I am wondering whether they have been disturbed and moved on.  Only time will tell.
A walk at Borough Hill only produced a single male Northern Wheatear and there were two further Wheatears near Kentle Wood [Daventry] and an Osprey over.
On my way home I stopped off at Ravensthorpe Reservoir and was surprised to literally come face to face with an Otter as it splashed about very close to the causeway. Of course no camera with me !.  I heard a Water Rail calling, 2 Swallows overhead and a flock of 12 Goldeneye displaying were the only birds of note.
I took a bit of a detour and went to Cottesbrooke and from the bus shelter  saw a stunning male Hawfinch sitting very quietly in a tree. I drive through Cottesbrooke most days and this is the first time for a while that I have seen a Hawfinch. I think that the birds are more elusive.
Before I reached home I notched up a further 2 Northern Wheatears along the gated road from Cottesbrooke to Haselbeech.

Dave Francis Had a mini ringing session in his garden yesterday [6th April] where he caught 14 birds including 8 Siskin. Dave says " these 8 brought my garden total so far to 50 individuals. Siskins are one of my favourite birds to ring. They are usually docile, easy to extract, easy to age and sex and they produce controls.   
None of the birds so far were controls but they may well get caught when they get back to Scotland or wherever they are heading.
The last time I had a good siskin winter in my garden I caught a Swedish one and had one of mine controlled in Belgium, as well as several assorted Scottish movements".

Regards Eleanor 
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