Thursday, 7 April 2011

Scanning the Sky.

Today I travelled a little further afield to wander along the pathways of another Surrey Common once again enjoying the mid-morning chorus of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff  (see above) plus a few more Willow Warblers with a blue sky above and Brimstone, Orange Tip, Green-veined White and Peacock butterflies flitting and skimming purposely in every direction around my feet.

 Today it was the turn of the Chiffchaff to present a rear view!

I made a detour through a woodland following the mewing 'piiyay' call of a bird of prey only to find an empty blue sky but a few Llama were feeding on the nearby property. On my return route I spotted an old friend who knows this area like the back of hand with his camera pointing into some bushes. After a brief catch up he showed me some images he had taken a little earlier and suggested that we ought to find a decent spot to do some raptor watching. During the next 45 minutes or so we scanned high in the sky to the west from two separate spots and eventually located 12 Common Buzzards and 2 Sparrowhawks. 

The above images of a Common Buzzard have been heavily cropped as this individual was the closest I saw but spiraling higher into the blue. We watched a number of the distant Buzzards performing their display flight where they drop with wings folded and then complete a 'loop de loop'. Despite careful scanning we failed to locate anything resembling a Goshawk this time but at least Alan has a record of what he saw not long before we met up. As we both know distant flying shapes can be deceptive and something heading directly towards us that we first thought was probably a gull actully turned out to be a Lapwing .... lol!

 The only other species that came close to the lens today was a acrobatic Blue Tit.
Once again an interesting few hours out in the sunshine and made even more pleasant by the unexpected company of a very knowledgeable friend. Thanks Alan.   FAB.


  1. You always see such a nice variety of birds! Love those Blue Tit photos. You had a great day.

  2. Hi Mona. You were quick off the mark tonight. Yes, the legs know they have had some exercise today ... now time to rest for tomorrow.

  3. It's always fun to do fun things with a friend or two. :) The birds are great and I like the llamas/alpacas, too. Their coats make wonderful yarn that makes wonderful sweaters.

  4. Those Blue Tits are absolutely the cutest things. I really love their colors blue and yellow. Actually reminds me of my younger days when blue and yellow were my school colors. Carol

  5. your common buzzards look like something we'd consider a hawk here in the US. They're much prettier than our buzzards. :)

  6. Nice to see a Chiffchaff. I often hear them but have never managed to see one yet, not even a rear view. Always amusing to watch just how acrobatic the Blue Tits are.

  7. Hi Lois. One or two of the Llamas looked as if they were carrying a good weight of wool!

    Hi Carol. Yes, they certainly have that 'cute' appeal.

    Hi texwisgirl. Most Buteos are far larger than any Hawks.

    Hi M John. The Chiffy has a habit of perching and singing just out of view. Keep looking and I'm sure you'll catch up with one soon.

  8. Excellent pics and story frank.
    Saw my first chiffchaff today, as you may know, I only became interested in birding in January this year, so lots to see and learn!!

  9. Hi Lisa. Thank you.

    Hi Dave. Amazing how quickly your first year tally builds up. Keep having fun.


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