Back To Square One

July 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Pied Billed Grebe

After filming on Islay for three weeks it was back to checking any nests that might be active in the Pennines. The Kingfishers that were on a second brood had fledged these also. Second choice was a pair of Kestrels that should still have had young in the nest in the wall of a ruined barn. As I approached the barn it was clear that all four young were on top of the barn and well able to fly! The third and last possibility were the Ring Ouzels who were just starting to build their second nest four weeks ago. This nest had progressed no further and the Ring Ouzels had moved on else where for their second brood, so it was back to nest finding!

Two pairs of Little Owls were found with large young, one in a pipe nest site which was made especially for them in a new house and the other at the base of a dry stone wall. The pipe family were brilliant and the young provided some good video, with the male feeding three fledged young. The second site was a nightmare and I spent two hours in a hide looking at the top of a post waiting for the male to land with prey and of course he didn’t. As if I hadn’t already spent enough unproductive time on Islay looking at the top of posts waiting for birds to alight.

Three nights have been spent on the moors waiting for a male Long Eared Owl to start hunting at dusk. On one night he performed well but the other two nights produced nothing but midge bites. This season has certainly been the most frustrating I can remember.

The good news of the week was that whilst I was trying to relocate the Green Woodpeckers in a moorland Oak wood I flushed, from between my feet, a young Woodcock that was well able to fly. This was only fifty yards from the nest I filmed, with four young, in May. So at least one of those young has made it to the flying stage and perhaps all four have?