Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Short eared Owl hots up cold windy morning

A super Short eared Owl brightened up a dull, gloomy, wet morning. The bird flew in off the sea and landed on the North eastern cliffs before moving into the braken area below the dung heap. The bird was seen on a few occassions as it patrolled the cliffs, presumably looking for Meadow Pipits which were present in good numbers. 100+ Mipit were along the cliffs sheltering from the wind. Three Redpoll and 15 Siskin moved through low over the pavements, while a single swallow moved up the small valley; my first of the year here. Two Willow Warblers were in the hawthorns behond the cemetery.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Red and Yellow fever - it's no April fool!

The perfectly still morning was ideal for a bit of visible migration and after a quiet first half hour, the Redpolls started moving. At least 100 birds were seen on the headland with many more passing overhead. One 'classic' Mealy Redpoll landed briefy amonsgt a small flock of Lessers behind the churchyard and I'm sure I had a few others. A Ring Ouzel called and flew down towards the reservoir. A few Goldcrests, Chiff chaff and finches kept the interest going. Star bird of the day came in the form of a fine male Yellowhammer. It was first heard calling high above the pavements before suddenly appearing in the hawthorns by the wall, singing its head off! The first of the year and a good one to get for the Orme year list. 25+ Magpies and 40+ Woodpigeon were also on the move.

This fine male Lesser Redpoll was in the gorse at the North End.
Highlight of the day - a singing male Yellowhammer on the limestone wall!
I suspect that this is a Mealy Redpoll - pale, nape, underparts, vent and undertail coverts and wing bar. Pity I didn't see the rump - I'm sure it would have had a nice pale one.
Magpies on the move - 25+ birds through today.

Goldcrests are still moving, although in smaller numbers. This one was behind the Churchyard.