Friday, August 03, 2007

Yesterday - Good day dip, good day nonetheless

Northern Eggar (click the pic for big)

Rubbish record shot of Marsh Harrier juvenile

Yesterday morning, arrived at Scaling at 09:00 having deposited the girls at horse riding for the day. The log indicated that MAB was still somewhere about and the 6 Shoveler he'd recorded were still in front of the hide. There was some passerine activity along the shore by the Sallows, 3 Robins and then a Lesser Whitethroat gave itself up, feeding in good view.

Further scanning produced a Green Sand, I suspected a second and sure enough a minute or so later they both flew towards me and landed on the shore by the Lesser Whitethroat. The Shoveler floated across the same field of view (ok Calderdale guys this is not a fantasy, just birding where there are some birds).

Everything flushed off the edge as the Roe Buck crashed through the Sallows and splashed along the shore. MAB arrived in the hide. He'd also seen Lesser Whitethroat, a Spot Fly, a Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel had flown through. I'd missed the Greenshank by a few minutes.

We chatted about this and that, agreed that my Short-eared Owl carrying food of a few weeks earlier must almost certainly have been Long-eared (the Birdtrack record needs to be adjusted).

MAB decided to leave and after a few minutes i went to look for the Spot Fly and see if there was Emperor over the pond. Good views of the Spot Fly, no Emperor, mobile goes off. MAB, "I'm by the garage and there're Peregrine, Common Buzzard and Honey Buzzard coming your way." I shoot down to the hide and eventually locate very distant the Peregrine and the Common Buzzard but no Honey. A further phone call, the Honey was heading for the coast. In the car but a fruitless search. So it goes.

In the afternoon Louise and I went to Fryup Dale Head. This is a really interesting area and looks full of potential. Tiger beetles scattered at nearly every footstep.There were plenty of Red Grouse families and having walked the Coast to Coast path we headed down into the dale. Two Stonechat and one Whinchat families were quickly found, Willow Warblers and Blackcap were also added. Kestrels hovered. Two large orange butterflies headed up the dale but defied id. Eventually we scrabbled back up to the Coast to Coast path and found this immaculate Norther Eggar on the path. Moments later Louise said, "Is that a Kestrel?" It clearly was not a Kestrel but was a juvenile Marsh Harrier, it slowly soared up and drifted away south.

But the day was not done. A phone call took me in the evening to a not so distant location where a pair of Barn Owls and their 5 young were out and about. This was a really good example of a bit of creative management of the potential nest site and surrounding land providing a pair with a suitable site which they had very quickly occupied.

Good day.

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