Winter Barn Owls

January 27, 2020 at 3:07 pm

At long last we had a couple of frosty mornings last week-end and I made a quick visit to one of my Barn Owl farms hoping to see some action. It was sunny and both Barn Owls came out to hunt over the rapidly melting frosts. I had almost forgotten how fantastic it is to watch these magnificent Owls quartering the pasture, totally engrossed in capturing a vole. When successful they would fly into the barn to devour the vole at their leisure. click here

The Redwing Roost

January 19, 2020 at 6:21 pm

At the end of a winters day Redwings come together to spend the night in a communal roost. Some of these birds will travel many miles to roost together for safety and perhaps to tell one another where there is food. Unlike Starlings they do not murmurate but fly directly into the roost – usually in a pine forest. I visited one such roost in the Ribble valley last month and stood in amazement as thousands of Redwings flew over my head into the pines. Over a period of forty minutes more than twenty thousand Redwings entered the roost and it was impossible to arrive at an accurate figure. As it was almost dark when the last birds arrived taking photos was not easy but some are in this weeks gallery. I understand that BBCs Winterwatch camera men have been to film the spectacle which will be shown in their programme in the next ten here

Yellow Brain Fungus

January 12, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Whilst out in the local woods last month I noticed something yellow on the ground amongst the leaves.There are not that many fungi out in the depth of winter but these stood out from some distance. Not being an expert on fungi I took some photos and have now identified it as Yellow Brain fungus – an apt name! It is not a rare fungus but it is intriguing that despite walking though this wood for more than fifty years I have never seen it before. Click here
Everyone is still awaiting the arrival 0f the Waxwings and it would appear that the one that I found in the Ribble valley on the 18th November is still the only one seen so far in east Lancashire. Do not worry though as they have now reached the Lake District and Yorkshire so it is only a matter of time!!

Jack Snipe At Last

January 5, 2020 at 6:41 pm

This winter has generally been very poor for migrant birds with one exception – Jack Snipe. I found my first one on the 14th October and by the year-end I had flushed 51 including a near record ten on one morning alone in November. This week I came across Jack Snipe number 52 but this time there was a bonus – it did not fly off!! A quick drive home for my camera and when I returned it was in exactly the same position. I took my photos and left it in peace! click here