The Safari went back to the nature reserve with the intention of bumping into the Otters again. We tried a different vantage point which we hoped would give a better view, or at least a different perspective. They tend to hang about in the bay marked on the pic...but not today!
We were told we'd just missed the Iceland Gull but luckily we refound it a little later, we'd also missed an adult Mediterranean Gull :-( . Prior to refinding the Iceland Gull we picked out a dark and chunky 'argentatus' Herring Gull amongst the four dozen or so 'argenteus' birds. The gulls came and went throughout the morning with two adult Great Black Backed Gulls and a 1st winter marauding over the rest trying to find a weakened Teal or Wigeon.
We noted a large number of Teal, later counted at 580 by MMcG with at least another 50 out sight from where he was sat. Wigeon too were in decent numbers for the site. We joined CR (his Iceland Gull pic here is an absolute cracker) in his favourite hide - aka Ice Station Zebra for its 'comforts' - and waited to see if the Otters would make a late appearance - they didn't! But we noticed a breakaway flock of Wigeon sailing out from the edge of the reeds towards us - one was an 1st winter Red Crested Pochard (207) Most unexpected and most welcome!!! But will it be there tomorrow or the day after before we go back to work?
C, M and PT got some shots off; PT's are likely to be brilliant with his new double mega 600mm lens. We were so taken aback at our find we forgot about the camera - will post some links when the pics appear.
Where to next? Well it all starts again in the morning...having narrowly beaten Monika two years running in our challenge she is up for revenge starting in the morning!
In the meantime after getting mud under the wheels yesterday we hope to able to do some of this during 2012...this is one of the 'Pay n play' sites we like to visit
The old 'leafer' does really well! We've tried that rock crawl and it's not easy and some of the crunches that come from underneath your feet are quite un-nerving - we destroyed a steering damper!
Happy New Year to all our readers wherever you are
We hope 2012 brings you health, wealth and happiness - and plenty of wildlife to enjoy of course