Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Little Brown Jobs.

Today seemed like the perfect day to find those early migrants that we are all waiting for, a light south-westerly wind and some sunshine. I have to say the wind didn't feel that light along the cliff top.

When I arrived at the edge of the cliff I was surprised to see a Peregrine perched quite close, and although I carefully retreated and crawled to the edge with my camera set up, I was too late and it was away. I had another close encounter later but again I didn't get my camera on it in time.

Further out to sea the visibility was awful and I gave up hope of a decent sea watch.

I take far too many pictures of Fulmars, but I liked this one. Normally I get the underneath when I'm at the bottom of the cliff looking skywards, or the upper-parts when I'm at the top looking down. This picture of the under-parts with the boulders on the beach below seems a little incongruous but it shows just how manoeuvrable they are as they swoop up to a potential nest site.

Meanwhile Dave was out on the big field spraying the grass, for future silage to rid it of chickweed.

My walk was accompanied by a lot of singing, and one of the main vocalists was this Meadow Pipit. As usual I tried to get pictures of it parachuting downwards as it gave the long trill that finishes it's song. Unlike the Skylark the Meadow Pipit is in the air for only a short while, but I just cant get sharp pictures of it while it's up there, my set up just want pick it up and focus quickly enough, I wonder if the EOS 7D would manage it?

All the time several Skylarks were up in the air singing away. With the Meadow Pipit they are in the group of birds often labelled as LBJs. They stay up in the air far a long time and are often more or less stationary, but they are normally very high. So high that I find it difficult to find them and then when I do, even with a 400mm lens they are still just little dots in the sky. Even so the song is really the sound of spring and summer in the open country side. I don't know what song would top the poll as the "peoples favourite". Very Often the Nightingale is elevated to the number one position, but I wonder how many people regularly hear Nightingales, as they are really confined to the south-east, while the Skylark is widespread and although in lower numbers than in years gone by, it is within reach of most people.

Another of my favourite songsters is the Mistle Thrush an a pair were on the field next to the paddock.As is normal they didn't allow close approach. Although not really a "Little Brown Job" they are a bird more often heard than seen. They are also one of the earliest breeders so it is worth watching out for the adults collecting food to take back to their nests.

1 comment:

Bennyboymothman said...

I like your Fulmar picture aswell, well done.