Thursday, 25 December 2008

A Christmas short

The safari had a short trip out today before turkey and all the trimmings. More a case of getting out of the way while dinner was being prepared.

We found ourselves at Marton Mere nature reserve again. Unfortunately there were more dogs out than wildlife and the numpties above spent ages encouraging their mutts to jump into the wildlife ponds. I just hope they hadn't been in any of the nearby ponds that are contaminated with the invasive alien plants Crassula and/or Azolla otherwise the sterling efforts of the Nature Watch group will have been to no avail as it is almost impossible to eradicate these plants once they have taken hold. 'Ignorance is bliss' - so this lot must be very happy!

Over the mere itself the light was grotty and these are the best I can do with Photo Editor. Plenty of Common Gulls were on the water. A couple of Goldeneyes and a smattering of Tufted Ducks and Pochard but we couldn't see the recently reported female Ferruginous Duck - or is it some type of Aythya hybrid, no-one seems quite sure yet.

Down in the scrub the Long Eared Owls were disappointingly absent too. However there were a few Blackbirds about and the odd Fieldfare. Roll on the January sales and I can bag a bargain in the dslr camera with a bit of a telephoto lens line rather than rely on this little compact.

With the weather going to be cooling down again the few remaining apples are a vital food supply for the thrushes on the reserve.

At the reserve gate this male Kestrel come in from the west and in the still air decided to hunt from a perch high in a Poplar tree.

That was all we had time for - a turkey was beckoning.

Where to next? The weekend looks go for a safari but in which direction will we be heading?

In the meantime let us know what have you been seeing in your outback. Has any one in the USA seen real live backwoods Turkeys?

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