Tiny Winging Darting Floating

Townsfield – The Cove – The Lots – The Shore – Cow’s Mouth – Jack Scout – Jenny Brown’s Point – Heald Brow – The Cliff Path

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A local, post-work stroll in glorious sunshine, remarkable for its bird-spotting opportunities right from the off. The hedgerow along Townsfield was seemingly full of birds.

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Great Tit.

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Blue Tit.

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House Sparrows.

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I wasn’t the only one taking an interest…

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Nor was it only the hedgerow which was busy: overhead a couple of Corvids were harassing a Buzzard…

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Usually, I have to crop my bird photos. This Chaffinch was sitting in such a prominent spot, just above the path by The Cove, that it hasn’t been necessary on this occasion.

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Chaffinch song is one of the few which I can reliably recognise, which means that when I hear it I always feel profoundly pleased with myself, Chaffinches and life in general.

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Just beyond this Chaffinch’s perch, stands a much larger Ash tree. I once saw a Tawny Owl sat in its branches and now habitually glance over just in case. It’s nearly six years since I saw the owl and I don’t think I’ve seen anything in the same spot since, so my optimism is perhaps misplaced. Except…There was something in the same tree again. The owl was back! But…wait, it wasn’t right for an owl somehow. I fumbled for my camera, but too late, the raptor opened it’s wings and glided effortlessly away. I managed to take one photo, but only of a space between the trees which the bird had just vacated. So, what was it? I’m pretty confident that it wasn’t a Buzzard, and also that I spotted dark wing-tips as it flew, so I suspect that it was one of the local Marsh Harriers – although that would put it some way off their usual patch.

On the Lots, a dozen or so Starlings were picking-over the sward…

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I wanted to go back to Jack Scout again, and fancied a different route, so went down Shore Road to The Beach (as it’s known locally – there’s no sign of any sand) and from there around the shore to Cow’s Mouth (another cove) and Jack Scout.

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It was a clear evening and the camera’s zoom reveals the profile of the Coniston Fells…

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One advantage of knowing a few birdsongs is that from time to time I realise that I’m hearing something different and start looking for the culprit. I’m not always successful, but occasionally that tactic can pay dividends…

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Blackcaps aren’t necessarily migrants. Three of them, two females and a male, overwintered in and around our garden many years ago, when we lived on The Row. But despite that fact, I only generally see them at this time of year, when the males are busying singing to establish and protect a territory. And even in Spring I don’t see them often, so when I do spy one I’m always thrilled. Getting a photo too was a real bonus.

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From Jack Scout I headed around Jenny Brown’s Point towards the chimney. I’m not very confident with wading birds, but I guess that these are Redshank…

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I can’t decide whether this rather rough wall…

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…is an archaeological remnant of the buildings which once accompanied the chimney here, and which has been revealed by the action of the tides on the foreshore; or whether it has been more recently constructed for some reason.

I was very taken by the red hue in the tips of the branches of these trees…

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There’s a David Hockney painting ‘Bigger Trees Nearer Warter’ which I’m sure has almost exactly the same hue.

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My route had taken onto the south side of higher ground and therefore into the shade, a mistake which needed rectifying. Fortunately, there’s a path which climbs steeply up to Heald Brow which would take me back into the sunshine. As I climbed the birds singing from all of the nearby trees gave me plenty of excuses to pause and scan the trees for the musician’s. Two Chiff-chaffs were competing, one at the bottom of the slope, the other at the top. In a line of trees several Robins were duelling hard. But loudest of all, ringing out over all of them, was a solitary Song Thrush…

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Not the best photo of a Song Thrush I know, but what surprised me about this photo was the wildlife I didn’t expect to capture in it: the shoals of insects which were flying all around the Thrush. It’s this bonanza which drives so much of the birdsong, brings the migrants, fuels the nesting season. I wasn’t thinking that at the time, I must confess; I was more concerned about climbing the hill with my jaws firmly closed so as to not find myself with a mouthful of unwanted protein.

Time for one more bird on this walk, in a tall Ash on the edge of Pointer Wood. Not the sharpest photo, but more evidence of my occasional success with birdsong, which is how I located this Nuthatch…

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Tiny Winging Darting Floating

4 thoughts on “Tiny Winging Darting Floating

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I suspect not. The reason I didn’t think that it was a Buzzard was the lack of a pale breast. I think that a perched Osprey would have a significant amount of white showing, and my impression of the bird was more one of a ruddy/brown sort of colouring.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I guessed it was lunchtime, I was watching them ‘come in’ as I had lunch, but the computers at work wouldn’t let me reply for some reason. Either that or WordPress was playing up.

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