Saturday, 10 September 2011

And then there were.....

well it's debatable but probably six or seven. I arrived at 5.00 to find the best vantage point taken by a courting taxi driver and his gal so I set up behind a bush and scanned in the opposite direction to the loving couple. Can't let romance interfere with the birding.

Almost immediately I saw a single Short eared Owl hunting low to the North. It managed about five minutes coming within a hundred yards once before Swallows and then two pesky Crows started mobbing it. The bird did the standard anti Crow manouvere and climbed higher and higher in small tight circles till it was at least 1000 foot up and the Crow was having problems getting the lift so gave up the chase. The bird disappeard from view in the distance but re-appeared hunting again some ten minutes later. This procedure occured twice more until it eventually flew toward me, plunged to the ground and then up and off behind a gate carrying prey. Sortly after I was joined by City Birding.

We watched and the bird (or was it) re-appeared quite a way away and then Dick noticed another bird nearer the wood. This bird was much darker in plumage and both birds hunted intermittently judging by the dives, the success rate seemed quite high. The darker bird then perched by which time there were four or five of us watching.

At 6.50 the sun came out and the light conditions remained perfect for good photography for the next half hour but of course nothing flew and the bird remained on its distant perch.

As the shadows lengthend the sun went down and the light failed up came another bird quite close this being a very pale individual. We watched it hunt for a good ten minutes before it caught and stayed down. Dick, Sandy and Alan drifted off having succumbed to attack by flies and I watched with another photgrapher as all three birds re-appeared and started hunting. I then got calls form both Sandy and Dick from either end of the road that two birds were hunting on the other side and when I crosssed to the spot I should have been viewing form, Alan was watching three, possibly four birds hunting westward in the failing light.

So good numbers of birds present but still no cigar on the photo hunt.

1 comment:

  1. The pics have come out well Peter. It was great to see the so many birds.