My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Monday, 21 June 2010

Catching up with Devon's birds

My apologies as my posts are all over the place at the moment; currently just catching up with the final Devon holiday post and then......

As regular readers of my blog will know, when I was in Devon a couple of weeks ago I mentioned the birds on the premises. Where I was staying was a Victorian Farm House (now occupied by our hosts) and two converted barns. We are right out in the middle of the countryside with our nearest human neighbour about 1/4 mile away.

The bird life was great. Many of the normal garden birds were regular visitors and the usual Swallows were nesting. About 6 adults I saw but the nests were still being attended and I believe they were eggs at this stage - no sounds from the nests at all. Our hosts have some cats and it was always apparent when they were in the "yard" as the Swallows would dive bomb the cats - who, in turn, weren't the least bit bothered by this.

As I mentioned in a previous "holiday" post - we concluded that there were 2 sets of Spotted Flycatchers. A pair had taken up residence somewhere near our barn and occupied the gate opposite and the nearby trees.

Richard had put up a nest box following a nest being made on top of an old oak fence post (propped up in the wood store), so the Flycatchers would have something "safer" in which to nest. For a couple of years nothing happened until this year when a pair successfully laid 2 eggs.

BUT the MEGA bird of the holiday was a visiting Hoopoe!! Di had kindly emailed me in advance and I'd hoped it would still be around when we visited - it was!! I heard it on 3 mornings and saw it one one morning. It was very early (about 6 ish) when I heard it and crept out. It flew from the tree in which it had been calling; perched briefly on a dead branch of a tree and then flew down the lane. Off I shot but when I arrived in the lane it was to see the Hoopoe disappearing into the fields beyond. So - no pictures but very much a lifer for me :D

A few pics.

Mostly the weather was dull and grey which didn't help when taking pictures of distant birds!!

These two, a male feeding a female I think, we our regulars and am sure were nesting somewhere very close to our barn.

Photographically horrid but just liked the content :D

They would always occupy the same perches and this was in one of the nearby oak trees.

BUT - over on the other side of the property, this is where the other pair were nesting in Richard's nest box.

Just gone in...

a quick turn around...

and a snuggle down keeping the two chicks warm..

On another evening when the sun was acutally shining I managed to get a couple of shots as one of the adults came back to the nest. They always perched in the same spot, but it was only in the sun for a very brief time each evening.

And on a day we had sunshine!! one of "ours"...

and just so the Swallows don't feel neglected..

I didn't get many birdy pics around the farm mostly because of the weather. But it was wonderful to have Spotted Flycatchers as neighbours and wren nesting above our doorway :D

Hear's to another year....


oldcrow61 said...

Lovely birds.

holdingmoments said...

I've still to see a Spotted Flycatcher; and a Hoopoe. I need a holiday like that lol

Glo said...

Sounds like a lovely spot to stay with many interesting flora and fauna. It's a big job sorting out photos, etc. after having been away, but you've done a great job of showing us many sights ~ lovely bird photos, as well.

Wilma said...

I have just been catching up with you after having a bit of computer and time issues. Loved your cygnet photos and congrats on the lifers! The bee orchid is a most gorgeous flower. You certainly made the most of your holiday.


Anonymous said...

Great to get a Hoopoe, especially in the UK. They are spectacular birds, more often heard than seen.

Lovely images of the Spotted Flycatchers.

Tricia said...

Thank you all for your comments. As always much appreciated. :d

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