Sunday, 4 January 2015

31 December 2014: What an end to the year.

Set off from home in beautiful sunlight to see the Datford Warbler in Cheltenham followed by a trip to Hawling to see Owls. Within about 30 seconds as I was passing the village church, I noticed an unusual bird circling the tower, which at first glance looked like a Peregrine. Took a slight detour, parked up and had a look - there on one of the gargoyles was a female Peregrine having breakfast. Fabulous photo opportunity as the tower is relatively low.

Research carried out at home afterwards, reveals that this is a female Pergerin, born in the Avon Gorge during the 2012 season - her ring number is Blue DX. She has also been seen fairly regularly at Tewkesbury Abbey where they hope she will nest - personally i think she should choose Bishops Cleeve, much nerer to wide open spces to hunt(-:).
Back on track and into pittville Park, Cheltenham, to catch up with the Dartford Warbler and the very confiding Stonechats that it like to follow round. 
Male Stonechat
Dartford Waebler

Female Stonechat
Dartford Warbler

As lunctime approached, it was time to head off for Hawling to try and catch up with the Short Eared Owls. Its always a difficult decision as to which side of the field to pick - today I chose the North side and was rewarded with sights of a Barn Owl hunting from the edge of a small coppice. However, the Short Eared Owls put in an early apearance this afternoon and the Barn Owl quickly moved elsewhere.
Short Eared Owl - saw at least 3 individuals but today there seemed to be a lot of hunting mid meadow and even towards the south side -wrong choice by me perhaps(-:). That said I, still prefer the skyline from the North side.

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