Saturday saw the first Barn Owl safari run under the auspices of the Robert Fuller Christmas Exhibition. 7 willing participants met on the banks of the Humber and we shared cars into the depths of deepest darkest Holderness. On the way there were plenty of Blackbirds - many of which were probably recent Scandinavian immigrants. We drove round the Keyingham Marsh loop where we saw several hundred Fieldfare.
We reached a muddy inlet only to be told we had just missed a male Hen Harrier - not what you want to hear! From here we saw 5 Common Seals and plenty of Shelduck on the Humber. It was high tide, so all the waders had been pushed off. There was no sign of the Twite either.
On the other side of the potholed road we saw plenty of Roe Deer, and then a distant Barn Owl showed for a couple of minutes flying along a distant drain. We drove the whole of the massive loop without seeing much else of interest. However, on the return journey we had very close views of another Barn Owl, which was hunting above a drain then flew over the road and then started quartering a field of sunflowers. It was then seen flying along a hedge, but it finally disappeared from view.
Sunset over Immingham
On Sunday the second Red Kite Roost watch took place. There were plenty of Kites around when we arrived. Some were flying among the distant trees, while an amazing 5 were perched on the top of the same small conifer, and 4 more gathered in a nearby Ash tree. Overall, we saw at least 28 birds, but possibly more. There were no sign of last week's Fieldfare, but a small flock of Redwings flew past, and a Green Woodpecker's flight call could just be heard. It was a very calm evening, so again the Kites made their way almost straight to the roost site.
My camera packed up when photographing the Waxwings the other day, so I've had to dig a January Barn Owl and Sunset from the archives, but I'm also indebted to Maggie Bruce who took these photos of Red Kites during Sunday's Red Kite Roost.
All remaining photos (c) 2012 Maggie Bruce
One of the birds had a blue tag with a red edge which appeared to have 4V on it. The interesting origins of this bird have been traced. She is a young female from this year and has travelled all the way down from North Scotland.