bird behaviour

RSPB Fairburn Ings- 3rd January 2011.

A great day’s birding with Chris Knight at the RSPB’s Fairburn Ings reserve. We had great views of some of Britains most beautiful birds. As we arrived six Waxwings flew in and gave us wonderful views as they descended to feed on berries next to Fairburn Ings visitor centre. A male Kingfisher was seen very well, appropriately at the Kingfisher screen and below it a female Smew came close to dive for fish. Much of the extensive areas of open water were frozen solid leaving a few pools where large numbers of wildfowl congregated. We had astonishing close views of a Water Rail on the edges of one such pool. Fairburn Ings is a haven for some decling species particularly Tree Sparrows and Willow Tits, both of which we are fortunate to have on our own garden feeders. At the end of the afternoon we were rewarded with great views of a Long Eared Owl roosting in the afternoon sunshine in a hawthorn tree. Its piercing orange eyes occasionally watched us and its ear tufts remained erect throughout. A very beautiful owl seen close and in good light- what a great start to this year’s bird list.

Long- eared Owl
Long- eared Owl
Female Smew

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