Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Red Kites and Owls

Spent a very pleasant few hours above Harrogate watching the moorland birds, including a couple of Tree Pipits when we got out of the car, and a Raven heard going over. Predictably there were also a few Red Kites knocking about, one of which put a Sparrowhawk up off a kill that looked like a Lapwing. Does anyone know if Sprawks take Lapwing as a matter of course? Doesn't seem like it would be a major prey item. Anyway, the commotion caused was quite entertaining, the presence of the kite attracting 3-4 lapwing mobbing it, which in turn brought in a Buzzard to the kill, before the whole lot being thoroughly mobbed by half a dozen crows.

Got home and attempted to get on with my essay, but failed to concentrate at all, so decided to go and check Hes East in the dying light. Had 1 LRP, 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Redshank and an Oystercatcher. Still no real spring migrants to speak of (LRP's don't count, they're a bit crap compared to a nice group of hawking hirundines or a spanking Garganey), I'm gonna have to twitch some at this rate, and i swore i wasn't going to make any effort to see common birds this year, just cos they're here a few weeks earlier than the rest of them. Anyway, after that, went out on to the Tilmire, and had one of the Little Owls in the usual trees, although it was being a little bastard, dropping out of the tree just as Cat looked down the scope, and giving us a ten minute wait in the chilly wind before Cat could tick her first one. Happily a couple of Barn Owls were hunting in the fields behind, one of which was hunting the roadside hedge, popping over the hedge just where I was standing, doing a shocked 90 degree turn about 2 meters from my face when it spotted me. We also had a hare and 3 Roe deer in the twilight.

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