In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leo food-pass image copyright Michael Brady, Newcastle.


Friday, 15 January 2010

New Years Day - # 5 OWL DAY #

2009 ends with 1st winter Med Gull , 2nd winter Iceland Gull & sadly finally the Bittern floating dead on New Years Eve.

150 species for me during the year (nowhere near 162 the previous year- although September had a lot to do with that)

2009 Highlights being :-
male Redstart, Temmincks Stint & flock of 82Whoopers! on Spring passage (thanks to The Rev DA, NeilF & Jimmy Wa)

Patch ticks of Marsh Warbler(JWa), Egyptian Goose(GS), & eventually finding local Snow Bunting & Bittern

Garden Ticks of Hobby, Osprey & Long-eared Owl

others include:-
Pintail Whinchat. Slav Grebe Greenshank Little Gull. Hobby. Crossbill. 20+Quail . Black Tern. SpotFly. Blackwit. Dunlin, Marsh Harrier. Swift, Cuckoo, Garden Warbler. Common Tern. Reed Warbler. Common Sand. Redstart, Whimbrel. Gropper & Yellow Wagtail. Tree Pipit. Mandarin. House Martin & Blackcap. Willow Warbler. Swallows, Ring Ousel, Wheatear, GCGrebe. LRP, SandMartin. , Chiffchaff, Corn Bunting. RNParakeet. Med Gull. Bean Goose x4. Green Woodpecker. Barnacle Goose. Ringed Plover. YLGull. Brambling. Shelduck Gadwall & LBBGull Shoveller Peregrine PFGoose Barn Owl Green Sand, Buzzard, Nuthatch, Cormorant, Tree Sparrow. Glaucous Gull, . Goosander Merlin, Stonechat. Dipper. Long-eared Owl, Mealy Redpoll, Jack Snipe, Woodcock, Water Rail, Little Owl, Kingfisher, Oystercatcher:

#############################################################################

A New Year of Patching & Owling begins
2010
Could we bag the 5 owls on day 1 ?





6am & the snow was coming down thick & fast.
Out the door at 7, met The Heron & set off into 6" of fresh crunching snow.
First couple of contacts were calling Skylarks heading north east in the snow @7am, shortly followed by first couple of birds seen being a post hunting Little Owl & Kingfisher actively fishing from a Hawthorn in the dark prior to 07:30.

Lots of highlight today, but several thousand Pink feet headed south, including a single straggling flock of 750(local record count), also Lesser Redpoll, White fronted Goose, Nuthatch, Water Rail, Stock Dove, Woodcock, Grey Partridge, Redshank, Short-eared Owl, Stonechat, Goldeneye etc

Mid afternoon we nipped back hyem for an hour, a warm through & fresh dry clothes.
Champion, ready to go again.
We noted 71 species, with a bit of determination & couple of hours later . . .
* * * * * * * * * * * * Y - E - S !! * * * * * * * * * * * *

We managed the task we set ourselves, & saw all 5 owls - first time either of us have achieved this on New Years Day.
We couldnt have asked for a better start to the year ! !

We were obviously very keen to achieve this, extremely so, in fact so much so that i (tried to string) was convinced i could see a Barnie through a perspex window - closer across the field & confidence was growing, MH could see it know! -
Then the penny dropped . . . oh dear, the "owl" was in fact a baseball cap hanging down off a white wooden plinth !
Four in a day isnt too shabby, but even then its usually with one being noted "on call". The way its looking we're pleased to get them on the 1st - before all this snow starts to kill 'em off !

On top of our 71, a further 10 species were seen by other operatives including Jack Snipe Wilson managing a lie in & early finish :- 53sp with of course Jack Snipe, 32Tree Sparrow & Tawny Owl.

Our "miss-list" included:- both wagtails !, Jay, Jack Snipe, Tspug, Gcrest, dipped on Dipper, Wigeon, Curlew, Goosander.

No comments: