Saturday, 19 September 2009

A guest appearance

Tony Fielding, from Royston Close, sent me these two terrific photos of a Sparrowhawk in his garden.

He sent these yesterday evening after taking them at about A wonder of the digital age, a few years ago we would have had to wait for the film to go off to the processor and about a week later we'd have been looking at the print or the slide!

I think that this is a female as it looks quite bulky. Female Sparrowhawks are much larger than the males and quite capable of taking birds as big as Woodpigeons. The males will take Collared Doves.

Today's birding at St Margaret's was pretty good with a lot of new birds in overnight. The full list of what was seen can be found on the KOS WEBsite

I spent some time watching the comings and goings at the horse trough at the bottom of the Paddock. Water always attracts a lot of birds and there was a much activity. As well as the resident Blackbirds, Robins and Greenfinches some of the many Blackcaps and Lesser Whitethroats were around most of the time, but the hoped for surprise didn't materialise. The male Blackcap above has the glossy black cap that gives it its name.

I always think that Lesser Whitethroats look as though they are wearing a highwayman's mask.

Female Blackcaps have a reddish brown cap.

This is what it is all about, getting down to the water to drink and bathe. The birds are very cautious, only popping out of the cover of the bushes for a few seconds at a time.

Highlights of the day were two Wrynecks, one at Hope Bay Studio and one at Little Green (I didn't get to see them) and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Bockhill Farm. This is the commonest of the migrant passerines that reach us from SIberia, in some years the numbers in the country reach hundreds. The 19th September is the earliest date for one at Bockhill. It stayed at the top of some large Sycamores and defied capture on camera, of than what looks like a blurred smudge.

Last night was the first night of a two night National Moth Night. I'll summarise my catch tomorrow, but so far it's been a bit disappointing. My mothing results are here.

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