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

Monday, 7 June 2010

DBC's Castle Lake

Went down Bishop Middleham
hoping to find a stint or maybe a sandpiper after yestdays rain . . .

a few bits & bobs on the roadside pool
Shelduck pr with 11 young, couple of male Corn Buntings, Yellow Wags, Tree Spugs etc

parked up & had fleeting glimpse of a Spotted Flycatcher, he continued singing unseen - one which we presumed to breed closeby but never proven.

Here Hare Here
nice to see loads of these down there - dogged to death round our way.

View from hide
last years "channel" cut an arc across the grassand & is helping keep that area much wetter.
further pools & channels are planned - the landowner is a top bloke - says "aye" to almost everything.


Little Ringed

Hobby food

Hobby (honest ;-)

Hadnt been in hide long when, when all the Starlings massed, the Swifts moved away & the Swallows alarmed . . . didnt see "it" whatever it was . . .

5 mins later "it" was back & no doubt about it !
A stunning adult Hobby cruised right past at eye-level, as it passed the hide i shot out the door to find J.Olley watching it move off southwards

The next thing to fly past were the 1 & a half hours taking us to 12:15 !

This was when it re-appeared, again an adult Hobby, picked up by Raptorman-Olley cruising high over Moto-X track.
It came in towards the lake at great speed, slowing to circle taking insects, it drifted slowly overhead - we opened the hide door to watch it taking further items over our heads, transfering them from talons to mouth.
It moved back over the lake, at times dropping at tremendous pace to take prey, without so much as a flick of its wings.
For the next 15 mins we watched it cruise & hunt about the surrounding area - at one point trying for a small bird, but concentrating mostly on small prey items.
We lost sight of it near Hardwick.

Seconds later we had the male Kestrel taking prey to a box, he deliverd it (long legged bird of sorts) only for the female to leave the nest & take the item to the ground for herself.

The next bird was a Buzzzard (John reckoned it was a male on size) being harrassed by a pr of Crows.

round over lake

Around 1 oclock it was back
Again it came close past the hide from left to right taking insects
Stalling it spyed a juvvy Starling & was on it in a shot
Just when it looked like a ready-meal the Starling clattered into the fence beneath us - the Hobby pulled up just in time allowing further superb close range views

moving off slowly over the lake, circling taking items, the Swifts staying behind it ! as it moved off over the A1 Flashes.

Certainly my best ever encounter with a Durham Hobby - a species doing well in England, but only positively confirmed as succesfully breeding as recently as last year. (thanks to The Raptorman).

Castle Lake Nature Reserve is privately owned farmland, managed by the farmers & volunteers from the County bird club- Durham Bird Club.

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