Monday, 7 August 2017

Swinden Resevoir

Have been back in the UK for a couple of months but got tangled up with work so unfortunately I have not really had much time to update the blog.  However, as I am now a man of leisure again for a while I thought I would catch up a bit. I have been out birding around my home in East Lancashire in the UK and have also been spending time encouraging birds into the garden so the lazy side of me can get to watch birds too :).

Anyway, last week I took a walk around a reservoir which lies a little to the south of Burnley.  The weather was not especially good but I thought seeing as I had not been to this site before I would do a kind of reconnoitre as a prelude to future visits. 

The rain eventually stopped and I started off walking along a footpath to the south of the reservoirs which are located in a small valley and is mainly fed by Swinden Water, a small river flowing down from Extwhistle Moor. Somehow I strayed off the path and ended up trying to walk on some very wet and slippery fields towards the eastern end of the lake.  The birding was not especially good on the day, there were plenty of Meadow Pipits about and on the way back I got a fleeting glimpse of a pair of female pheasants disappearing over the brow of a hill.

There were also some high flying Barn Swallow and Gulls (Black Headed I think).  However as I walked past a small group of mounds, one of which had a small cliff of large rocks on one side, I noticed a rabbit in the valley and as I approached to take a closer look I flushed this little guy;

Little Owl
He flew to the rocky area and disappeared into a burrow behind the rock on the left of the photo.  I sat for a while to see if he would allow me another look and about 10 minutes later he bobbed out.  He stood on the ledge for about 5 minutes bobbing his whole body while observing me closely.  He flew off after those few minutes but I sauntered back to the car happy as anything to have shared that few minutes.  This is the first Owl I have managed to spot in the UK and it confirms what I have aways said about birding, you should never give up even on what seems like a rubbish day, it could still surprise you at the very last minute :)

Happy birding Guys and Gals

As I was out there and he landed close by I thought I'd capture a Ringlet photo as well.  There are a fair few different butterfly species around the area and I think I will try capture the images of a few while I am on my birding trips.

© Bernard Bracken

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