Saturday, 15 October 2011

Putting the jig saw together

There was little in my moth traps this morning, although two Yellow-lined Quakers were new for the year.

A surprise was a beautiful little Firecrest coming down to drink at the fountain in front of the study. By the time I had got my camera it had moved on and left me with a group of Goldfinches coming down to drink.

The garden also seemed to have a large increase in the number of Blackbirds around and this one spent time probing between the stones round the fountain, often a good place for insects and small worms. A text from Jack speeded me on my way to Bockhill farm.

As I walked down the Droveway towards the farm I could see Nigel and as I approached he pointed towards the trees to his left and then I also heard the tell tale tswee-eet call of a Yellow-browed Warbler. Hearing was one thing, seeing another, and an almost impossible third was to photograph it! After a while we had both seen it, but only the white underparts, with not detail of the head or wings. Since these are the interesting bits, the fact that we knew it was the bird by the call was poor compensation.

Finally we got on to it in a slightly more open tree and after a while the characters started to give them selves up. The broad, long supercilium, small size and fine bill were seen as it took a rest from it's normal restless activity and sat on a small branch, high in the canopy.

From a different angle the start of the broad whitish greater covert wing-bar could be seen. The smaller bar on the median coverts doesn't show on the picture, but could be seen as it fed.

Again although half hidden by twigs two more of the characters can be seen, the broad edges to the tertials, contrasting with the darker centres and the palish legs. I didn't manage to see a cetre crown stripe, but peering high into the canopy made it difficult to see everything on the bird. It was a pretty vocal individual, which made keeping track of it easier than is always the case.

As I walked across the paddock I flushed this Green Woodpecker and I rather liked pattern shown on the wings as it flew off.

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