torsdag 3 januari 2008

Snowfall and Pygmy Owl

2:nd of January
Snowfall and –5°C is creating a real sensation of winter. It´s a bit grey, windy and dusky, but the ground is covered with a 3-4 cm layer of snow. I sense flashbacks from my teen winters with constant birding efforts on bike, by skis or by foot.
     Hawfinch and Goldfinch show up on my first "bird restaurant". Maybe I´d call it "3 finches Inn" (tell me what you think!). 
     A Great Grey Shrike sits in the "Hawk Owl tree top" along the road to Fläckebo. In this clearing and that perticular treetop I´ve spotted Hawk Owls at least twice. Last winter it stayed almost 4 months!
      On my 2:nd feeding station, "The Nutcracker Inn", it´s pretty quiet, but sounds of Ravens make me look up in the moment a beautifully orange-breasted male Sparrowhawk breaks the clearing and speeds towards me in eyeheight. Just 2 meters from my face he "hits the breaks", and turns left, showing the splendor of he´s reddish belly and underwings. 
     The hunt ends fruitless for him, but for me it was quite a show.
I reach the 3:rd feeder almost at dusk, and no birds show, but I still hurry to another place. By a small forest lake some nice people feed birds in the gardens of their cottages. It´s a remote place all surrounded by forest. 
     I imitate a Pygmy Owl a couple of times, without really paying attention to the result, but as I turn to walk back from the feeder, there it sits! Quiet and still, but quite close. 
     I take some pictures, but they turn out lousy. I don´t have a very good camera. Instead you can enjoy Graham Catleys excellent picture from two winters ago. 
     Why not check out his excellent blog as well:
     Many of his pictures in this gallery (Great Grey Owl, Nutcracker, Golden Eagle, etc.) is from here:

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