Tuesday, 10 February 2015

An Unsuccessful Hunt for a Great Grey Shrike but Success with Little Owls

Friday 6th February turned out to be another bright and sunny day; a good one to be out.  The feeders needed topping up at the Yard and so I went down late morning to pick up the keys.  After a welcome cup of tea I decided to go out to Wold Newton in the Lincolnshire Wolds first to look for a great grey shrike that had been seen out there.  Despite much searching I was unable to find so went to call at nearby Scallows Hall.  I first began my bird photography here 30 years ago.  The sight was brought to my attention by a friend with a mutual interest in flowers who had 'sneaked' into the front meadow; this has never been uncultivated to my knowledge and is a small patch of relict chalk downland.  When I was looking for somewhere for my bird photography I knocked on the door of the old 17th century farm house to ask permission to site a winter feeding station.  Over the years I have become good friends with the Ollard family who live here.  Over the years job and family responsibilities meant that wildlife photography took a back seat until retirement beckoned a few years ago.  I have an idea for a project to photograph a year in the life of a wood and its surroundings but needed to call in at the house to check it was OK before presuming to just wander around again.  Sadly on this occasion there was no one at home so I continued my perambulations in the car.  Just over the hill, while still keeping an eye open for shrikes I spotted a little owl on a felled ash tree.  I stopped and watched for a while before tentatively opening the window and poking the lens out.  The owl seemed little perturbed and I managed a few shots.  Unfortunately it was a bit distant and required a substantial crop.  Imagine my delight, however, when I spotted a second bird under the tree trunk.  A pair!!  Hopefully they will be breeding here and I will be able to watch them through the spring and summer.

Eventually it was time to pop back to the yard and top up the feeders.  A good day.

To view large, please click on an image.
The Valley Wood, Wold Newton
The Wolds near Wold Newton
The corner of Beesby Wood and Stock Furlong Wood beyond.
The Valley Wood with Stock Furlong behind.
The Valley Wood
Wold Newton Valley
Stock Furlong
Little Owl
Little Owl
Little Owl
Little Owl
Little Owl

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