In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leucistic Little Owl image copyright Hilary Chambers, Durham.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Couple of jars

We went West towards the end of the day.

Barnie I

Chanced upon this Barn Owl just outside his large Ash cavity.
Timed it perfectly, as we scoped from range, he wing stretched, gradually becoming more alert, taking in the movement & sounds around him, before treating us to a fly past as he went out to hunt.

Barnie II
Easy pickings at present.
Tractors & trailers rushed through fields taking the first cut of silage off as the dark sky loomed & a rumble of thunder echoed down from further up the dale.

Didnt see a car on this quiet road, unfortunately this Pheasant poult had.

We had a brief drive round, with a fine female Merlin dashing across in front of us, landing on a rock.
Other bits & bobs included Tree Pipit, Grey Partridge, Curlew, Garden Warbler, Snipe, Redstart, Woodcock.
A distant Cuckoo on top of a plantation could be heard clearly over a great distance in the calm quiet moorland evening & a juvvy Stonechat zipped into its roost.
A few heavy spots of rain never came to much,
so it was on to the main course . . .

Last visit had drawn a complete blank,
not a sniff from a Nightjar

We were up the forest in good time for the 20 min walk up the hill to the Goatsucker site
a couple of Woodcock had set out on their strange roding flights high over the canopy heading out across the open rushy ground.
3 good size leverets raced along in front of us showing us the way.

As the evening grew quieter, we moved Heel & toe along the stoney forest road.
Woodcock were all around
As we approached the largest forest clearing at @ 21:45, expecting a 10-15 min wait,
we were simply gob-smacked to see a stunning male Nightjar fly up from feet away from the edge of the roadway, floating away, only to veer round a Spruce, relanding on a log yards away !

Amazing !

We had a Nighjar within our sights & it was on the deck in good light ! (another of this years challenges safely out of the way !)

( before any eyebrows raise at what appears to be a "flushed" Schedule 1 breeder - we we had our feet firmly on the hard track when the bird sprang up ;-) )

Words dont seem to be enough to describe the next hour or so

Lots of close range fly-bys, including a good look at the female too
male churring openly at least 6 times

Male Nightjar churring
Very animated as he sang, realy chucking his head about & flicking his tail open as he momentarily paused between bursts.

Excellent watching his flutter into position whilst landing
( hand held digi-scoped doesnt do it justice - it was still decent light )

Certainly my best Nightjar encounter & The Herons "best ever UK views".

1 comment:

Phil said...

Very nice to see them in that amount of light. A cracking birding session there.