Monday, 20 January 2014

At last!....Athene Noctua

So another Sunday has come around and another trip to my local patch, Arcot Pond, accompanied by Michael. 
First impressions were how waterlogged the fields had become since the previous days twitch there.
A scan of the pond and all seemed quiet, though a female Tufted Duck was feeding to the far left on the north side. Scattered Teal, Coot and  Moorhen were feeding along the back of the pond, with Black Headed Gull, Common Gull and a couple of Mute Swan closer to shore. A solitary Grey Heron was perched over by the dead trees. 
A walk up Beacon lane provided plenty of small bird activity with Robin, Great Tit and Blue Tit all singing and flying between the hedges and trees.
A quick scan in the large trees to the right of the stream provided a few patch firsts with a large flock of Redwing and Fieldfare gathered together and spread across two large trees. My first Fieldfare for a long time and a great sight! A few Greenfinch adorned the top of the tree.

We headed to the 'Forked Tree' after a tip off, thanks to LiverBirder. 
Looking up as we walked past, something stared back.......the Little Owl!! What a buzz! A tick for the patch list and more importantly my life list! I felt honoured to be in the company of such an amazing wild bird. Those big bright yellow eyes stared at us unblinking the entire time we observed it! 
A truly beautiful bird! 


After observing the owl for a little bit, and taking a ridiculous amount of pictures, we headed back down the lane to the car as the sun set.....feeling pretty damn good. Brilliant end to a great weekend of birding.
Where next?....