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Sunday, 28 February 2010

Waxwings & Little Owls on 27th February, 2010

A brilliant day, although a rather disappointing one photographically. I started with a trip to Wilnecote, near Tamworth, to see the Waxwings (what wonderful birds!). Before I departed, only one of the three had been reported as present. However, when I arrived all three were up in a tree, where a pair of aggressive Mistle Thrushes had sent them. The Thrushes were trying to stop the Waxwings from feeding on 'their' ornamental Mountain Ash tree, which still had a very good crop of berries. The Waxwings waited until the Thrushes had departed, and then came down for a quick nosh, before the Thrushes came back and sent them off again - and so it went on for the couple of hours that I was there. Unfortunately, the weather remained very dull and grey for the whole time, and it even rained for a while.

Having decided that I'd had enough, I set off back home, calling in at the farm near Snarestone where I had found a Little Owl on the previous Saturday. Yes, he was there again! I decided to pay a visit to the farmer and his wife, and as I drove up the road to the farm - I spotted a pair of Little Owls from my car (only one photographable). This is definitely a new site as I had left the other owl on its tree about 800 metres away only five minutes before.

After lunch, it brightened up and so I decided to go back to the farm and set up my hide to see if I could get some better photos. As I arrived, it started drizzling, but I persevered and set up in the hope that it would brighten up again. The weather just got worse and the owls never showed, so after a couple of hours I gave up and came home again, with only some extremely distant shots of a Brown Hare, taken at ISO 1000, in the can - heavily cropped versions below.

Waxwings - Wilnecote

the marauding Mistle Thrushes - Wilnecote

Little Owl (my sixth site) - near Snarestone

Brown Hare - near Snarestone

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