Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another Cruise

Lots of Yellow Wagtails Sunday
Another opportunity for a weekend on the canal and for this particular outing we chose to moor next to the old LNER railway bridge just after Bridge 101 Grand Union.

When I cruised back to our home mooring and few weeks ago the combines were out in force raking in the grain crops and over the weekend it was clear to see that now the job is almost done. With the majority of fields cut the birding is made a lot easier and the cruise up on the Friday evening produced of note: Hare, Roe Deer, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Red-legged Partridge, Yellow Wagtail, at least 10 Kestrel and a large flock of House Sparrows as we passed Flecknoe Fields Farm.

I'm getting Closer!
Several weeks ago when we’d moored here with friends I was lucky enough to locate a lone Turtle Dove, my first local patch bird but was unable to get any decent photo’s. You can imagine my surprise when shortly after we’d moored up what I believe to be the same bird flew low across the adjacent field and perched on the exact same power line. Notwithstanding I was able to get a little closer this time resulting in the above image. The bird seems to visit this particular spot in the early morning or late evening before dropping down into the field to feed.

Saturday's weather wasn't as bad as anticipated and although it remained overcast for most of the day it stayed dry with some late evening sunshine. We enjoyed an evening BBQ during which time we watched the full moon rising to the south and despite the moons presence still managed several of the brighter Perseid Meteors. Little Owl and Barn Owl and a small number of Pipistrelle Bats further entertained us, plus many strange sounds of creatures lurking in the bushes behind kept us guessing.

1950's Vampire Jet Trainer
Sunday was a brighter day with longer periods of sunshine and the day was spent just sky watching. An early morning glimpse of Turtle Dove along with the many Common Buzzards and Kestrels hunting in the now bare fields. Delighted to be joined by Paul Norman our Brandon Volunteers Chairman for coffee around midday and we all three sat watching a noisy pair of Raven enjoying a thermal. Interesting to note too that during the course of the whole day I must have counted at least a dozen Yellow Wagtails coming through.

Finally, the cruise home later this evening was spent watching other flying objects as we were treated to our very own flying display, when the Coventry Airbase 1950'2 Vampire Jet Trainer performed a number a acrobatic turns and summersaults right over our heads!