Friday, 1 August 2014

31st July - I Heard the Sound Of a Thunder That Roared Out a Warnin'

After the success of finding the Barn Owl on Tuesday, and the failure to get any good photographs I took the chance to go back today during the evening to see if I could find it, and get that all important photograph.  

The wind had picked up, and there was a definite feel that the weather was changing, the temperature being a lot lower, and the air a lot dryer.  Looking across the surrounding fields the numbers of Woodpigeon gathering on the wires was beginning to build up.  It won't be long before the huge flocks start to gather after the fields are harvested.  Just before I took this picture they were all lined up on the wires, but a low flying powered glider spooked them.

Walking up the hill there were calls from Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits on either side of the road.  It was hard to see them, and every so often one would break cover and fly across to the other side.

The wind was blowing the seeds about, and the path and field was covered in the thistle seeds, giving it a strange appearance.  Seeds blowing in the wind could also be mistaken for butterflies, of which again there were very few.

Having reached the spot where I flushed the owl on Tuesday I approached slowly and quietly.  I could see plenty of droppings and pellets but there was no sign of the owl.  Hopefully it alternates roosting sites, and today this was not the chosen one.

I walked down the main path, and picked out a Hare sitting on the edge of the long grass.  As is always the way with them it sat very still in the belief I couldn't see it.  I approached very slowly, stopping every so often to photograph it.  This is as close as I got.

Before it ran off!

Its amazing how they can levitate!

The wind now was quite fresh, and there was very little about.  I could hear the mew of a Buzzard over the Mountains Plantation, and finally managed to locate it soaring just above the tree tops.

It was then joined by another, and they came close together.  They were probably both young birds just fledged by the condition of the feathers, but they were distant and into the bright sky so it was difficult to really be certain.  

I wonder how many young Buzzards have fledged this year.  I know there were two in Old Down, I have heard the mewing of two young birds at Alton lane, and then possibly here.  But I am certain there have been more pairs breeding its just being able to accurately identifying them.

I decided on walking back to the car, realising that with the wind and the overcast conditions there probably wouldn't be much more about.  As I came down the hill though a Sparrowhawk flew ahead of me towards Winchester Wood.  I had heard that there had been a pair breeding in there.  I watched as it flew and perched in one of the tall conifers.  Maybe this was one of the pair.  A very poor photograph I know, but a record of a bird I haven't seen for awhile.

As I reached the car a Yellowhammer was singing from one of the hawthorn bushes, nice to hear, as bird song has been very absent just recently.

The weather is set to change, and hopefully this is not the end of the summer, some rain is needed but hopefully not too much, and for a long period.

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