Saturday, April 19, 2008

very quiet...

well at least we thought it was... very little migration has been recorded through Northants before this weekend. Saturday we pootled around in the garden, topped up the food then sat back and watched. You can see here a Starling queueing for the fat block feeder:










and here clinging on whilst being harassed by other very vocal Starlings:














The top photograph was taken with a fast shutter speed to get good feather detail, but then had to be lighted by +2.0 to make the image visible. The second photo is set for optimum light, hence the blur due to a slower shutter speed.

The Collared Doves are getting frisky:














and Mrs B (one of the four regulars anyway) was mooching around on the grass, looking for invertebrates:














We think the Robins have a brood they are feeding already, we don't normally see them tucking in on the hanging feeders, they typically prefer ground food:














A pair of Stock Doves appear to heave taken up residence, perhaps they're using the Tawny Owl box we put up?














On Sunday we decided to do the first of our Timed Tetrads during the breeding season (Spring/Summer). The weather was seasonably crap, that is damp, drizzly, grey and windy. The good news is these conditions deter other humans, that combined with the requested early morning only visits put us at Holowell reservoir just after 8am on Sunday... the place was buzzing with birds, signing, displaying, building nests, etc. The highlight for us was the Grasshopper Warbler we very clearly heard, but we couldn't actually see it...

When we got home we checked out the county bird reports (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/northantsbirds/). We were of course delighted that a number of passage migrants, some quite unusual, had been observed throughout the county, with the unfortunate exception of where we had been - too early at Hollowell, close to Ravensthorpe but we didn't have any food with us so didn't stop in, and then at home for the rest... not jealous at all, not even one little bit, well maybe just a little actually. Also next weekend involves a very long flight to the east coast of India on business, so I'm unlikely to be doing any birding or blogging for a couple of weeks :(

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