Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Can I swear???

The Safari would like to say b*gger - why? We've just found out about this that was trapped, ringed and released while we were there!!! We were sat next to JW counting the Little Egrets coming into roost, and earlier we'd seen his car parked up where he punts off down the dyke to the ringing sites - OK it was too late too look by then but someone could have mentioned it to us while we were there - couldn't they? AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH - fortunately the chances of seeing it were probably slim to remote as not even the Bearded Tits were playing ball but it would have been good to get two Lifers in a day...wonder if there's enough time to get 10 for the year? A feat not achieved since either our earliest twitching days or perhaps even earlier than that! Could have done it if we'd been able to get to the coast during the blast that was Hurricane Katia. We're on eight which is still more than the last decade combined! 
Later in the afternoon, towards dusk even, we set off to the nature reserve. As we pulled up this Kestrel was hovering only a few yards away but it was already too dark for decent pics by then.

We scanned the edge of the reedbed along the far bank . Not a lot a few Teal, a couple of male Goldeneyes with  a female some way apart from them and the ubiquitous Coots. Then after about half an hour we saw a larger shape in the water, much bigger and more solid than the last of the Water Lily leaves blowing around in the stiff breeze - Otter - RESULT!!! We hung around waiting for it to reappear, it didn't but we were joined by MJ and ML. MJ left ten minutes too soon because as we were chatting to ML a little later a  Bittern flew over from the Viewing Platform area and landed in the reeds just to our right, only the second one ML has definitely seen here in 20 or so years!
Other odds 'n' sods amounted to one, possibly two Sparrowhawks, a small number of small Starling flocks all heading towards the pier, no murmurations here now :( , and a few Blackbirds coming into the nearby Blackthorn thicket to spend the night in the safety of the thorns.
The waterfowl started moving around, the Canada Geese, Teal and Gadwall were seen to leave to find their favoured feeding areas and flock of four males and a female Shoveler landed right in front of us. Also arriving to spend the night on the water was the free flying flock of Barnacle Geese, no more than two dozen now (used to be 44) from the zoo, their higher pitched yapping calls easily heard over the noise from the many more Canada Geese.
We didn't see the Barn Owl as we had hoped nor were any Woodcocks seen leaving their daytime roosts.
With the light totally gone it was time to point the Land Rover at the rush hour traffic and head for home with a big broad smile.
Where to next? Back tomorrow in all likelihood - well with that on offer it would be rude not to!
In the meantime let us know what you filled your boots with in your outback.

4 comments:

Dean said...

That`s got to hurt, Dave!!!!!!

Oh, and congrats on your first E Book.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Pain indeed Dean but we'd rather find our own on our own nature reserve tbh. Gotta happen sooner or later.
More than made up for by tonight's otter n bittern not a bad double act in anyone's book!
Talking of books we've sold at least one copy so far!!!

Cheers
D

Neil Spiers said...

NOT BEEN OUT IN AGES!!!! Wonders of not having the time now as per my little lady.

Soon I have to visit the Mere and get my first sighting of a wild otter.

Warren Baker said...

Oooooh! Penduline Tit, something to look out for tomoz Davo!!! :-)