Saturday, 16 April 2016

Hirundine Hunt

Today, although colder, was at least dry, so I was able to get myself going a lot easier, and a lot earlier.

I had decided to visit Muskham Lake and see if there were any swallows or sand martins about. Well, I regretted it a little when I found myself trying to cycle head on into a blast chiller northerly, but it was only about 5 miles and I was able to keep on chugging on.

No goldeneye or any other fancy waterfowl, but I was happy to see that about 20 sand martins were skimming the water in their characteristic fashion. Photographing them was a matter of pure chance, but I got, ahem, lucky, in a few shots.

Cycling home, a swallow swooped overhead, and then a lovely kestrel flew towards the reserve from the village. No chance of a shot of these birds, far too fast moving. But the birds of Kilton Raptor Rescue, in town once again, provided a far easier target, and this time, I had my big camera with me.

Barn Owl:

My favourite "scowl owl":

Ferruginous buzzard:

Harris hawk:

Tawny owls:

And finally, the super cute scopps owl:


  1. What a lovely chance encounter.

  2. We had one swallow on the farm on April 13 th but haven't seen it since - not surprised as it is freezing cold here.

  3. Some lovely portraits of birds of prey. love the Tawny Owls

  4. The rescue birds all look to be in beautiful condition, which is encouraging. That Scops Owl is waaay too cute!

  5. I love the shots you got of the rescue birds, they're just stunning! I love the regal look of the buzzard and the barn owls are always a joy to see. Scops' Owls are adorable! - Tasha

  6. Thanks for your comments. Everybody wants that Scops' Owl!

    Apparently most of these birds are "pose pets" who's owners don't have a clue how to look after them, although some of the native owls were probably injured by cars r some such thing. Nearly all of these birds can never be released.

  7. It's always lovely when the swallows and martins come back!

  8. Superb owls - what magnificent birds they are. Loads of sand martins back at Minsmere. Have now seen my first small white butterfly.