All Short-eared Owl Photos (c) 2010 Maurice Gordon
Stock Dove (above)
My sincere apologies for a series of technical problems, which has prevented this site being updated since October! I did buy extra photo space at that time, and was informed it would take 24 hours for that space to become available, but 2 weeks later it still hadn't appeared, and I didn't check it again until today!
In the hiatus one of my Goldcrest photos appeared on the Red Button after the Autumnwatch programmes, whilst another was featured in a very rowdy section during the Unsprung 'Pub Quiz'! Meanwhile, the Water Rail picture depicted above appeared in the December issue of Birdwatching Magazine.
The final classes of the Autumn term were heavily disrupted by bad weather, so I can no longer remember the highlights. However, the specials to see the Short-eared Owls were amazingly successful with 8 birds seen both days and a female Hen Harrier on one occasion. The snow moved in within minutes of the final Short-eared Owl session! I went back on my own and was lucky enough to see a Peregrine whizz a few feet over my head. Both visits also had good views of the Rough-legged Buzzard, which was still showing as recently as yesterday. This was a 'lifer' for the vast majority of those present. Unfortunately, the recent snow prevented me from revisiting the Short-eared Owl site, and since the snow, reports of the birds have not been so frequent. Of course it will have been more difficult for the owls to locate voles under the snow and they have probably had to range further afield - unfortunately, others may have starved to death!
The snow has also resulted in 3 Barn Owl casualties in their Holderness stronghold, with a 4th bird being struck by a car & taken to a rescue centre.
Hopefully, all of you have now encountered a flock of Waxwings, as the invasion continued throughout November & December, with small flocks around Marfleet Lane, Bilton Grove and Old Hedon Road. The most recent reliable flock is of 7 birds in Baynard Avenue, Cottingham. However, Sheffield seems to be the best area to catch up with birds of 300+.
There has also been an invasion of Woodcock with some birds appearing in people's gardens during the bad weather. Unfortunately, I haven't been lucky enough to photograph one of these elusive birds so far this winter.
If I take any worthwhile photographs over the festive season I will update this blog, but normal service should resume anyway from 11 of January.
May I take this opportunity to wish all my customers (& anyone else who has read the blog throughout the year) all the best for Christmas and the New Year!