Tuesday, 12 March 2013

On thin ice.

Not me, Jenny Wren.

This little beauty was following the ditch in the meadow plantation at the Rising Sun yesterday afternoon. I enjoyed cracking views for a good thirty minutes as it explored all the nooks and crannies and vegetation in search of food. This was one of 3 Wrens i saw. 
Unsurprisingly, my only company when i arrived at the pit heap was a Black-headed Gull. It was absolutely freezing as a perishing easterly not only had the eyes watering but felt as if it was pinching any uncovered skin. My exposed vantage point did bring me an almost immediate sighting of a Short-eared Owl which i saw drop to the ground in the "sheep field". Fifteen minutes up there was enough and i dropped down to the wagonway beside the field where the Owl was. It had lifted and landed on a post some 25 metres away and there it sat for the twenty minutes i watched before heading down to the main hide. I passed within 4 foot of the bird as i walked behind it on the other side of the hedge. The yellow eyes of the bird were locked on to me, the Owl ready to evacuate if i stopped moving but as i continued on it stayed put. I've watched the Shorties on quite a few occasions on fence posts at the base of the pit heap backed onto paths with dog walkers and horse riders passing close behind and on an estimated 12 out of 15 times the birds have remained on the post. The passers by totally unaware of what was sat close by.
Nothing of note on Swallow Pond so i concentrated on the meadow plantation hoping to see the long staying Crossbills but no luck. I did pick up on 2 Goldcrests in the conifers and a pair of Coal Tits were heard before being located. As i headed back home 8 Fieldfare were spotted with 2 of them bathing in a hidden from sight pool and a mixed Tit flock worked their way along the path. I had disturbed numerous Blackbirds scratching about on the ground during my visit.


  1. John,

    absolutely great shot of Jenny. On Sunday at Big Waters Dog Walkers were passing within a few metres of a pair of Goosander on the pond and none of them noticed anything either.


  2. I knew exactly where i would pass the Owl and the hedge was thinly vegetated so the bird had clear views of me, as i had of it but i knew if i kept moving, quite slowly, it would hold station, which it did. I was tempted to put my shorter lens on and walk back but thought better of it.