15 Nov 2009

Don't mention the Turtle Dove!

The best laid plans and all that came to nought when Saturdays Rufous Turtle Dove in Aberdeenshore was re-identified from photo's as a Turtle Dove. Not that I was relishing the thought of travelling overnight to the far reaches of these Islands!

Birding Saturday was interrupted by almost perpetual rain meaning my attentions were focused on local stuff between the storms. Sunday was much better and a walk around the local stuble fields was rewarded with some good local birds - 3 Yellowhammers a Reed Bunting and a couple of Tree Sparrows amongst a large Chaffinch  & House Sparrow flock was a good start. The stubble has attracted a large flock of feral pigeons / doves and the local Sparrowhawk is making inroads into this avian equivalent of a 'ready meal'. All good stuff with a large flock of Fieldfares dropping in for good measure.

Plenty of other birds around to keep the interest up with flyover Linnet, Skylark, Grey Wagtail, double figures of alba Wagtails and large numbers of Meadow Pipits milling around - some flying straight through and some on the stubble.

An afternoon spent raking up leaves in the garden (and depositing them under the hedges as hiding places for invertebrates during the winter) got the blood pumping and my reward for the endeavour was a late afternoon stakeout with Molly for our local Little Owls. Sure enough as the light began to fade two beady little yellow eyes peered out from the owls hollow tree.

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