Sunday, 4 January 2015

2 January 2015: Stonechat, Dartford Warbler and a 5 raptor evening.

Another day of sunshine with a visit to Pittville Park - I know, its repetitive but never having seen a Dartford before, it would be foolish to waste the opportunity of getting some diferent poses. Besides it was a chance to meet up with some fellow Facebook group members.
Male Stonechat

First view of the Dartford Warbler
Very pleased with this shot of the two together.

Dartford warbler

At lunchtime i had to take the good lady off to a chiropractor appointment but afterwards I set off for Hawling to meet up with the gang and see how the Owls were performing.It was clouding over and there was acold stiff breeze flowing from the South West and the Short Eared Owls obviously didn't like those conditions as they hadn't appeared much - only one distant sighting so far.

However, I got my first of 5 raptors as a Common Buzzard soared overhead into the setting sun.
We then had the first Short Eared Owl but it was way off ove rthe North side of the meadow - raptor number 2.

But the Barn Owl took full advantage of the absence of the Shorties and put on a couple of flybys in an area that it wouldn't normally venture into when the Shorties are out - raptor number 3

Raptor number 4 hurtked through, a juvenile Peregrine

followed not much later by a Kestrel, raptor number 5.

It gradually got darker and still no reasonable show by the Shorties. Many people started to pack up and as I was driving back down the lane I saw someone I hadn't seen for a while and stopped to chat. All of a sudden we noticed the wind had dropped and we were assailed by at least 4 Short Eared Owls - although it was darker than I would normally shoot, out came the camera, though I took the converter off so that I could get more light in.

It was such a shame one of the local Red Kites hadn't drifted over - 6 in one day would have been a major record for me(-:).


  1. So jealous of the birds you see Bob. Those raptors are lovely. Cracking shots of the Stonechat and Dartford as well. Glad you've finally seen one, they're lovely little birds.

    1. Yes, cracking little bird. I would be lovely to see it in full breeding plumage, singing its head off in full sunshine on top of a glorious Gorse bush, but I'm more than happy with what I have.