25 - 26 May
The sky that is....... a gloriously sunny bank holiday ! first for ages. And my first chance to photograph Little Owl. I've seen a few around the village but they have always been flighty and too far away, with the only occasions that they hang around being when I don't have the camera. This little beauty was sat on the overhead cable in Abbey road and X Trail's open sunroof came into it's own, only a few seconds, but enough to fire the shutter on a cracking Little Owl (try double clicking on the image and feel the stare) . No sign of the one out the back of the garden and not heard again. I suspect there are a few in Pentney but finding them is really difficult.
Reality bites for my son Tom. Sunday morning started with the cry from Tom that there were birds all over the garage floor. There were, some half a dozen tiny Wren chicks. The adults had built a nest in an old Swallow's nest but the chicks had exploded out of the nest a bit early. Tom, at six years of age thought this was great, and a good opportunity to try out his camera skills on some birds. He took this picture completely unaided - David Bailey watch out! Sadly later in the day when we returned from a walk they had perished. All too young I guess, though we did only find three so just maybe a couple made it. Tom wasn't happy, but we explained as best we could though he wasn't having us bury them, that was horrible, cardboard box a better idea.
A glorious day and I thought why not have a look at where the Nightingales breed every year down Abbey road. Usually three pairs and while I didn't expect to hear them at midday there was always the possibility of a brief sighting - well not now. This is now not exactly prime Nightingale habitat. Still perhaps that's why we've heard them at the back of our house, it's an ill chainsaw that brings a Nightingale........ Also a walk down Bilney woods and no singing Woodlarks but on this occasion I think that's just down to time of day. However did see a Cuckoo, several Willow Warblers and loads of Whitethroats, must be a good year for them.