Sunday, 15 November 2009

A better afternoon

The safari was stuck indoors this morning during bouts of torrential downpours but the weather perked up after lunch so we dashed out to our local nature reserve. As soon as we arrived we met up with a few birders looking, or more accurately listening, for the Cetti's Warblers. They had only had brief calls from one individual so we decided to have a listen at a few other points around the site. Nothing doing. It would be wrong to say there wasn't a great lot about but there was nothing out of the ordinary. If we had braved the weather earlier in the day we would have bagged a Goosander. But it had gone by the time we got there.
Pick of the bunch were probably 4 female, 1 1st winter male and an adult male Goldeneye. As the afternoon started to turn to dusk small flocks of Starlings came in from the fields but not in the tens of thousands as there has been recently. At least two and probably three Sparrowhawks manoevered themselves in to the best positions for a lightning strike. A Peregrine was seen carrying a small victim, probably a Starling, to its regular perch on the nearby pylon. A Kestrel hovered oblivious to all the flying meat, its attention focused on the ground below for Voles, beetles or worms.
A lucky bonus was a flight of twenty two Pintails going over, not a regular species at this site. Nicking in to the hide we sat watched, listened and waited. Nothing much doing, very few gulls to get the juices flowing. But when things were not looking promising suddenly from the reeds to the right a quiet, or distant, Cetti's Warbler shouted out a short blast of song. Listening intently, nothing further. Settling down to scan the reeds opposite for Bitterns became our focus but just as we were getting in to it the Cetti's fired up again, closer and/or louder this time. There was too much vegetation between us and it to really stand much of a chance of getting a glimpse of it.
Still no sign of the Bittern. There was another birder away up the reserve so we walked over to him to see if he'd had any joy. Joy of joys he had. Two Cetti's, making at least three and probably four for the day.
We hung around to the last of the light but still the Bittern didn't show.

Hope the Long Eared and Barn Owls get a chance to hunt tonight, it looks like its going to be reasonably rain free for them - they must be getting pretty hungry by now. The warden told us there were two Long Eareds on site but they were very tricky so we'll wait a little while longer until after the frosts have dropped the last of the leaves and thery are a bit easier to spot.

Where to next? Still need that third tick on Patch 1 - d'yer think we'll get it?

In the meantime let us know what's invaded your outback in huge numbers.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

I think I can just make out that cettis Dave !!