Saturday, 26 September 2009

Tawny Owl & Woodlark at Frensham Great Pond.

I am not a great fan of joining large groups for a bird walk but today I accepted an invitation by Tony, a close birding friend, to join a local RSPB Group walk at Frensham Great Pond. Well as expected the 'members' were friendly BUT incessant chatting amongst a group of 25+ whilst trying to bird when the avian activity is sparse always tests my patience and I soon resorted to walking towards the rear of the pack.
Staring into bright sunshine across the Great Pond produced lots of Coot, Mute Swans and a few Great Crested Grebes with their stripey youngsters constantly calling. A single Lapwing flew over and through the wooded areas we located Robin, Chaffinch, Blue, Great & Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrest, Nutchatches calling incessantly, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Woodpigeon. On reaching a smaller pond we watched a pair of Common Buzzards climbing high into the sky on the mid-morning thermals and a Kingfisher darted across the water and disappeared out of sight.
At a road lay-by I was able to get this digi-scoped shot of a resting Tawny Owl partially hidden in the distant trees. Definitely the star bird of the day. (Please click to enlarge).
Throughout the damp wooded areas there were quite a few different fungi . These two were bigger than a dinner plate.
Our walk returned us back to the Great Pond where we located a Goldeneye (an early returning migrant in eclipse plumage), Pochard (a male & 2 females) plus a flypast by a Grey Heron. With most of the group heading back to the car park I spotted 2 birds drop onto the close-cropped heathland and start to search for food. The two distinctive features that immediately caught my eye were the short tail and the broad buffish-white supercillia that joins at the back of the head in a v shape.....Woodlark. I was soon rejoined by most of the group and we watched this pair quietly feed for some while getting great views using the scope of the exceptionally long hind claw. Once everyone moved on I attempted to get closer but only managed this single record short before both birds were disturbed by another walker!
The remainder of the day was spent in Jean and Tony's garden with Anita chilling out and discussing the possibility of a joint visit to Norfolk later this year.
Have a good week everyone. FAB .

27 comments:

  1. What a cute photo of that owl!! Neat mushrooms too!

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  2. Hi Frank,two fantastic birds,well done.
    When birding with a large number i find most helpfull because more eyes more birds.
    John.

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  3. I know what you mean about birding with a large group. Four to six is my favorite size. The Tawny Owl is really special.

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  4. Hi Frank,
    Wow you got a nice day there! Incredible man! Well done on the owl and the woodlark, two species I've never seen!

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  5. Good bird count, despite the chatterers Frank. Tawny Owl; excellent. Not seen one for years.

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  6. I'm not into the "groupie" thing - Just my husband and myself is usuallly how it's done. Love the Owl shot. Nice work.

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  7. Tawny Owl and Woodlark all in one day, very nice indeed Frank.

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  8. Ive been on bird excursions, and experienced the same thing as you, half the party chatting away, why bother coming if your just out for a chat ?

    Anyway, well done with that woodlark!

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  9. Great post Frank. Love the Owl. I had a very young Juv in a tree like this a couple of years ago and it made my day.

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  10. Hi "Early Birders". Thanks for the comments & glad you enjoyed the Tawny as much as I did.

    In response to the 'birding in groups' I would make these comments:

    John..More eyes are good providing that is what they are doing!!

    Steve..I think you & I would get along fine.

    Warren..We are definitely on the same wavelength.

    Have a good wildlife week. FAB.

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  11. I really love seeing owls, too...probably cause it's so rare, besides how beautiful they are...very cool! I always enjoy 'shroom shots too.

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  12. I really like owls, but have not yet been able to photograph one. I love the photo of your Tawny Owl. Did you spot him when you were at the back of the pack? :-)

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  13. Hah! My thought about group birding as well!! Very nice photo of the owl.

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  14. Like Montanagirl I prefer to do my bird watching alone apart from HLH of course! I love the Owl photo and well done on the Woodlark, I have never seen one, mind you I haven't seen an Owl for years...any species of Owl that is!

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  15. Hi Jann. Glad to oblige your passion for owls & fungi. Hope you can enjoy the 'fall' colours for a while longer.

    Kelly. The Tawny was found by someone at the front of the group so I had to wait some time until the 'horde' moved on before I quickly set up the gear for a shot.

    mick. I might have guessed that would be the case!

    Jan. I'm very happy on my own or with Anita & a few like-minded friends. I just fail to understand why certain people attend a bird walk & all they want to do is chat about anything else!

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  16. Great photo of the Tawny Owl. So far my local ones have defeated me. I sometimes see one in twilight when it perches briefly atop a nearby telegraph pole. Occasionally I hear two calling from different directions.

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  17. John. I also have often heard them calling at work but rarely seen so this sighting was a definite bonus.

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  18. Like the Tawny Owl and the reflections photo.

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  19. Hi Frank...Enjoyed your tour, my favorite of your captures is the fungi! We have those dinner plate size mushrooms in my woods,too. The Tawny Owl is beautiful, hopefully one day I'll be able to photograph one.

    I checked out your dragonflies...wonderful captures! I love the shot of your Hawker, we call them Darners here in the states. They're somewhat difficult to catch at rest, since they enjoy the treetops. I hope you continue to photograph the dragons, they're fascinating creatures...and you did a fine job at capturing them!

    P.S...hopefully within a week, I'll be posting photos of the Darners ovipositing at my pond (damsels and dragons blog).

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  20. Leedra. Thank you very much.

    spookydragonfly. Thanks for giving my dragons the one over Kim. With any luck I'll have more time available to do them justice next year. Looking forward to your next post.

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  21. We have Tawny Owls here too Frank. Love the reflection too. Seems like retirement is going well. :)

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  22. Joan. Thanks. Regret still working my notice period at the moment but 'free' time not too far away.

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  23. EB,
    I know what you mean about the talking birders..our Sat morn group seems to have quite a few socialites but I tend to do what you did ..fall to the rear..Your pictures of that tawny owl was wonderful..what a wonderful catch on your walk!

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  24. That Tawny Owl is so beautifully camouflaged.

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  25. T and S. Yes Thomas, they do love to just sit in part sun, part shade where they can survey their surroundings.

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  26. I just came across your blog from another. I really enjoyed the photo of the tawny owl and reading your blog.

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  27. Eileen. Many thanks for dropping by & leaving such a nice comment. FAB.

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