Sunday, 28 March 2010

Little, Rainbow, Barn

Sometimes, without trying, you get your timing just right. Last Friday I was working in Milton Keynes and on the way back, we stopped to put the last 30 binders on a layed hedge to complete a project (we ran out of binders on Tuesday when I had planned on finishing it!).

Above: Hedge 1 at Rectory Farm that we layed. Whilst using the outdoor 'facilities' here, I flushed a Little Owl sat in a hedge.

Above: A short drive later and I was at hedge 2 at Rectory Farm- also layed by BTCV. I needed photographs of the completed hedge for the funders (GrantScape) and my timing was just right to catch this rainbow too!

Then, on the way back to the office via Astwood my jaw dropped, my finger pointed ahead of me and I shouted Barn Owl! We watched it fly over the road and hunt in the field opposite. About 10 seconds after I shouted Barn Owl, somebody else in the mini-bus did!

Saturday morning, I went with Errol ringing at Priory Country Park where we ringed our first Chiff Chaffs of the year. It wasn't a classic morning but we finished with a couple of nice Song Thrush's. We also saw our first swallows (12+) and frog spawn.

Late Saturday afternoon and I took a walk out to Castle Mill (not far from my front door. Here I saw 1 Swallow, 2 Little Egret, 1 buzzard, 2 oystercatcher, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Grey Wagtails, Great Crested Grebes, Herons, Coots, Moorhens, Cormorant, Mallards, 5 Tufted Ducks, 1 Redshank.

Today, a ringing demo at Randalls Farm - 3 chiff chaffs and a pair of bullfinches were the highlight. Another walk to Castle Mill produced 2 (maybe 3) Mistle Thrushes and nothing that wasn't there the day before.

I was puzzled by the behaviour of the Oystercatchers. There is an obvious pair here and they stick to eachother like glue - even in flight (nothing odd there) but there was a third bird that called as it flew in and the pair seemed to chase it away. It (or another) came back and it was allowed to land. A minute or two later, the pair follwed and landed in the vacinity (hidden from my view) where all 3 remained for a few minutes. Then all 3 took to flight and the pair seemed to chase it away again. Then a short while later, it (or another) came in again and landed next to the pair. There were periods of quiet but also noisy periods. They chased it away and then let it stay? Could this 1 bird have been a male that was trying to outmuscle the resident male?

2 more came over later & two more as I was leaving. Puzzled I am.

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