Friday, 21 November 2008

Interesting behaviour

As I'm still suffering this cough (though it seems to be getting better) not much chance to get out and about, haven't the energy really. However a couple of snippets from the week you may be interested in.

Firstly, saw some interesting behaviour. Out for some fresh air towards dusk, on some overhead power lines were amassing about 1-2,000 starlings. Not an unusual sight as Starlings will congregate before heading off to the overnight roost. What was fascinating, a female Sparrowhawk was also perched about 100m along the power line. It was a bit of status quo, if a few Starlings thought to leave, the Sparrowhawk was off too, when they flew back, so did the hunter. This cat and mouse game went on for ages, until at last the Sparrowhawk became bored, frustrated, whatever, and flew off across a field, at which point the Starlings broke out in a chattering chorus and flew off in the opposite direction. I hope they made it.

I've also seen a Hen Harrier this week. Not going to say where it was other than Somerset. I was driving along and saw a Black Headed Gull flock lift rapidly from some wet pasture. Always good to check why flocks lift rapidly, I stopped the car and there it was, 95% sure a juvenile, rather than female. That's 2 I've seen this year, good to see these fab hunters in the South West.

Also, when out and about this winter, if you see a mixed species Finch flock feeding, take some time to really look what's there. One flock of 150+ feeding on spilt grain was made up of, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Redpoll and Siskin as well as House Sparrow hangers on.

Finally took this photo the other day and while I've got time on my hands, messing about with Photoshop. This effect is called "Hot Wax". (Enlarge photo to get effect) I quite like this and I think my artistic juices are coming back. Nice effect, in my mind anyway.


  1. i like the effect, but i only crop pics

  2. Oh go on ST, be a devil and run amock with the effects :-)