Not patch birding!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A break from the patch monotony as much for me as for you dear reader.  Not so long back I mooted the idea of chuffing off to the Chilterns to see some Kites, which duly happened although the weather left a lot to be desired.  This weeked the trip was undertaken again with lots of hot weather, a little wind and no cloud.  Perfect raptor weather.  And so it proved. 

Mrs Thing and I picked a spot from our previous sujourn and parked up.  And there were kites.  Everywhere it seemed.  At one point we could easily count a dozen with the naked eye and there was plenty more in the back of the optics.  The most spectacular results came with a bit of stillness and Mrs Things excellent pishing, which may not have fooled the adults but certainly brought a juvenile in for a closer look.  It hung in the air above us for the best part of ten minutes, the air by that time being full of four letter words of wonder and delight.  This particular bird is digimonned for your pleasure below.  Eventually the kites were joined by a trio of Buzzards (Common) and a few of them rose up in a thermal, which also was pretty nice for a city dweller to see.  I also managed to find a Spotted Flycatcher high in an oak tree, which was actually a year tick!  There were other passerines about, but the Kites were so enthralling that nothing else really mattered. 

A Red Kite doing awesome.


Tom Smith said...

Hi Michael,

I just noticed (belatedly) that you were at Osterley Park last weekend. I presume from what you saw that you took the path round the Middle Lake? Hopefully your Hobby sightings won't be the last ones for the year...


Thing said...

Tom, was by the pastures behind the woods by the lake - looking for Little Owls with not a great deal of success.

You are pretty regular up there - any tips for nailing the little critters?

Tom Smith said...

I thought you got one? Anyway it's mostly a question of knowing where to look: they're very regular in the same few places. The best spots are on the old oak in the south corner with the nest box (hard to see in summer) and the one in the north corner (you generally have to get right under it to see them); on the fenceposts on the far side of the pasture; and in the southernmost enclosure.

Next time you're there you should definitely also try the "west paddocks" - follow the path next to the Mason's Cottage on the main drive. That's where most of the migrant passerines and other good non-waterbirds are found.

Thing said...

Heard only - didn't get to eyeball the little feckers. Thanks for the tips!

kanishk said...

looking for Little Owls with not a great deal of success.
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