Sunday, 20 December 2009

The safari nipped down to nature reserve for a couple of hours this arvo - cold - cold - cold but very little snow and what there was was melting.
We met up with the ranger and the volunteers who were fettling up the feeding station for he Christmas holidays. Four deceased Woodmice were found trapped in one of thee seed hoppers but we couldn't work out how they had managed to get in - an unsolved mystery. After the work was completed and before Frank ate all the seed - greedy dog! we settled down to watch the proceedings from the hide. First up was a Robin and then there were three...sorry about pic quality; dark outside and right on limit of lens, too dark for digiscoping, excuses, excuses.
Reed Buntings were a nice addition to the list which included the usual feeder fare, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, etc.
Set the camera on lots of shots a second and these are the pick of the best after much photomessing; choose your fave.

Out on the water/ice there were about 1500 gulls to work through, a hundred or so close up and the others mostly sat on the thin ice down the other end. The first bunch revealed nowt special - two species in this pic - don't you dare find a third!

But in the couple of minutes it took to drive down to the next hide a brisk wind had picked up and the waves disintegrated the ice causing the gulls to fall through and so they left in droves - by the time we got set up again most had left...damn! A small patch of ice was left in the middle of the mere so we nipped in to the small middle hide, which I placed many years ago deliberately to view the gulls from, but the reed in front hadn't been cut yet so viewing was awkward but we didn't find anything exceptional unfortunately.

Over two hundred and fifty Teal were checked for the American Green Winged variety to no avail, more where hiding from the elements in the reeds. No sign of the exotics ie Cetti's Warblers (despite some attempts at 'song-whistles') and Bitterns and we didn't go round to check out the four Long Eared Owls on site today.

Where to next? Off to check Patch 1 for our Peregrine in a mo.

In the meantime let us know what you didn't opt to go and see in your outback this arvo.


Warren Baker said...

Reed Buntings are one species that is seldom seen on my patch dave.

Monika said...

I love the image of gulls falling through thin ice - poor suckers! Why do they prefer to sit on the ice rather than in the water or on the shore I wonder?