Sunday, 2 October 2011


Apologies for the lack of posts over the last week or so, many non-bird related things have got in the way such as turning 25 and a 3 day jaunt down to Bristol this weekend for my mate Rory's stag do. The fellow stags are a great bunch of lads but quite frankly couldn't give a toss about birdwatching (whilst hovercraft racing yesterday I pointed out a red kite being mobbed by corvids and was widely ridiculed) so not much birding was done but I did manage a couple of hours of "skywatching" from the lofty position of the 15th floor of the fine establishment that is Premier Inn. A couple of Peregrine sightings were rewards for my effort - and by effort I mean lying in bed with a spanking headache staring out of the conveniently positioned window.

In the evening I attempted to go out for an Owl and found a likely looking spot where I might get some good advice on where to go but was sadly mistaken....

Anyway, lets get back to talking about actual birds back in the mighty Leicestershire! By the way did anyone else see the Peregrine sitting in the rafters on the television coverage of the City vs Derby game? I had a season ticket there for a number of seasons and never saw a hint of one! I didn't tend to spend much time looking upwards mind unless it was to ask the almighty why o' why was Trevor Benjamin getting into the team.

About a week ago I had a garden tick in the form of a Willow Warbler that admittedly had me convinced it was a chiffchaff (as it was nearing the end of September and is generally quite late for a willow) but after getting a good shufty at it all signs pointed at Willow and although my warbler identification skills are severly lacking im competent with the commoner species and it just felt like one rather than a chiff. Not that I would have minded it being a chiff, that would have been a garden tick too! Two Goldcrest were also present in the garden at the same time which were the first actually seen within the confines of the garden this autumn.

garden rare bush scores again!
The Greenfinch numbers in the garden are at their highest for a number of years at the moment (a flock of around 20-30 birds is regular) which bodes well for Siskin sightings this winter - the drop in Greenfinch numbers in the garden over the last few years has coincided with the number of Siskin sightings also falling. I thought i'd take a few shots of the Greenfinch and found a couple of surprises - in both the images below keen eyed readers will see the adult birds have been ringed, I don't know of any ringing activity in the immediate area of here (except perhaps intermittedly at Narborough Bog) so I wonder where they came from!? Secondly the bird in the second image has extremely dilated pupils - a feature I've never seen and makes me wonder whether the bird has an illness/infection of some kind. I believe the reddish substance around its beak isn't blood, but rather the juice of blackberries.

In terms of my Owling I've not been out as much as I'd like to but managed to meet up with Paul one evening last week where we pootled around visiting a few of the sites that we mutually know about and discussed the favoured subject - owls. In our travels we may have stumbled across a couple of new owl sites for Paul that if confirmed (we only heard the birds, didn't get a visual sighting) will take him over the magic 200 mark in terms of Owl sites that he has found. Considering Leicestershire had about 20 known sites before he commenced his work its fairly safe to say that he's done fucking well so far!
The evening after I nipped out briefly in the hope of a quick birthday owl before I went to the pub and picked up 3 of the juveniles at Pauls star site which were spread out far and wide which sadly suggests the days of sticking your head over a hedge and seeing 4-5 owls all neatly lined up for you to look at are sadly numbered!

No new photos of owls unfortunately (I aim to remedy this this week) but I did manage a photo of the extraordinarily rare and extremely elusive Three Legged Buzzard:

and this shittograph of two juvenile Linnet that I tried my hardest to string into Corn Bunting but thankfully common sense prevailed and the correct (I hope!) identification was achieved.

Corn Linnets

1 comment:

  1. shittograph! Nice new word for me! Some good shots there. I've yet to get any usable photos of a buzzard. My best was a distant silhouette shot in France this year.

    As for the ridiculing, I get that a lot, especially with my dearest family, who descend childishly into lots of eye-rolling and sarcastic sighing! I pity them really :-P