Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Two walks in Hawthorn Dene

Walked yesterday and today in Hawthorn Dene. Misty and damp both days.
Yesterday I watched a family of young squirrels feeding in the undergrowth.

Today I got a great view of a great spotted woodpecker as I walked into the wood, watched swifts catching insects over the tree canopy and swallows and house martins feeding over the meadow.

On the way back thorough the wood my attention was drawn to a very noisy group of small birds in the trees. They were mobbing an owl which flew towards me and perched in the fork of a nearby tree. When it turned and looked in my direction two feathery ear tufts rose up on its head. It was a long eared owl, my first sighting of this species. One more for the list!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sunbathing blackbirds

Three blackbirds sunbathing in the garden this afternoon. Probably trying to get rid of parasites in the first sunshine we've had for a few days.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Holidays and first cuckoo

First post to the diary for a while. Have been on holiday with friends in Cessenon in the South of France. Had a great time and saw black winged stilt, black kite, black redstart and hoopoe as well as hearing golden oriole, nightingale and great spotted cuckoo.

Just before the France holiday I had a good day at Bemton cliffs in yorkshire where I watched and photographed a number of seabirds including gannet, fulmar, kittiwake, guillemot, razorbill and puffin.

Nearer home I heard my first cuckoo of spring from the garden on Sat 2nd June at 6.00 a.m. This is five weeks later than last year.

Riding along the old railway line near home on Mon 4th I saw a Mallard duck sitting in the middle of the boardwalk next to the large pond. As I grew close she gave a loud quack and five fluffy ducklings rushed in single file under the boardwalk and out into the safety of the water. At the end of the boardwalk I had a similar experience with a moorhen and two chicks.