We popped down the road with the camera for a couple of hours late yesterday afternoon. We were hoping to photograph one or more of the newly arrived Yellow Wagtails but failed completely. However, all was not lost as instead we found a reasonably co-operative Greater Short-toed Lark.
No more than 100 metres away from the lark we were then able to re-locate a Ruff (or maybe a Reeve) which June had seen the day before.
Again it was a very obliging bird, moving out of the shadows and feeding quite unconcerned at close range. “How many photographs of a Ruff do we need?” June was soon asking!
June’s next question was, “Why don’t you photograph this Short-eared Owl instead?” Sure enough, close to where we had earlier been with the Greater Short-toed Lark, a Short-eared Owl was now hunting, presumably the same bird we had seen briefly in the same area last week. Surprisingly, when the owl dropped into the grass, we were able to approach it quite closely and it seemed quite relaxed.
When it did finally fly off, there was just about enough light remaining to get at least a record shot of a Northern Wheatear that had come within range.
Earlier in the day we had seen Great Spotted Cuckoos, Pallid Swifts, Purple Herons, Barn Swallows and House Martins. At last, the migrants are returning!
2 weeks ago