Tuesday, 19 June 2012


A dry start to the day meant I was able to have my morning cuppa outside overlooking the field in front of our house (at home in yorkshire).
As I sat down in my chair, a grey heron lifted from the edge of our pond, I'd disturbed its morning fill of the few fish it hasn't already eaten from the pond. The heron slowly and heavily flew up a little, landing only 10m away in the field, keeping its eye on me for the next 30 mins, patiently waiting for me to leave.
The usual Rooks, Wood pigeons, Jackdaws, Magpies and male Pheasant were all in the field prodding away at the uneven ground sods left by the cows who usually graze this field.
A Redkite flew over, just as a glorious bit of sunshine blasted from the grey cloud, this acute light set alive the warm orangey, red wings and body as it glided effortlessly over the field. 4 more Redkites joined and circled above for a while until their circles took them too far away for me to see.
A Buzzard flew over, in very heavy moult, the two middle tail feathers were missing and the wings looked very patchy.

I heard the rattle of a Mistle thrush to the left of the field and saw 2 of them arguing as they crashed through some tree branches. On top of the rattling, some Blackbirds were giving out stink over something, nothing unusual there, Blackbirds being the drama queens that they are, but there was something serious about their din that made me stay with them, so glad I did, they were mobbing a Little Owl!
They bopped it on the head with their feet, it went to the ground, to a spot I couldn't see. I could see the Blackbirds continue to swoop over it, so I guessed it was just trying to stand its ground. The Blackbird's persistence eventually paid off as the Little owl flew up into the same nearby trees which me and mum heard owl sounds from last time I was home.
So the Little owl is still around!
In comparison to the Short eared owl I saw down in Kilcoole a few weeks back, the size of the Little owl was minute! Teeny, tiny.
I hope it comes up nearer the house so I can get a good look again.

Whilst listening to the repetitive song of a Chiffchaff, I saw a Curlew flying over towards Lishman's farm.
I heard it calling from that area at the weekend, so it was cool to visibly see the bird. Shame there's hardly any Curlew sights or sounds in Ireland over summer anymore.
I wonder will there eventually be a reintroduction programme for Curlews, or will they be considered the same as Corn Buntings and just left extinct?
I was waiting to hear a Woodpecker or Cuckoo to top off a nuts half hour birdwatching when it started to rain.
What a mornings birding, all whilst having a brew, in my pjs, steps from the house and not even 8am.
My kind of birding!