The Safari went out on a rather pleasant winter's morning...or had it turned 12 by the time we hit the road. We were on a mission to find the Long Eared Owl that had been reported at the nature reserve. There wasn't much about at the little wetland but while we waited for Frank to get stuck into his sniffathon we heard a Water Rail calling from the nearest pond and watched a Reed Bunting fly across to the far side to land out of sight in the long grass.
Wandering incredibly slowly onwards, gaw that dog can sniff...we saw almost nothing else apart from the odd Woodpigeon and Magpie - it was deathly quiet out there.The sun shone brightly and a path-side Willow was light like a wildfire.
As we neared the scrub the owl had been seen in a pair of Mute Swans flew in to the mere.
We were joined by our Extreme Photographer, a second pair of experienced eyes are always useful for spotting a camouflage expert in dense bushes but it wasn't to be. moving our positions a few feet at a time to scan at slightly different angles didn't give the result we were hoping for.
We moved further along the path but again some seriously intense searching didn't produce the goods. Time to try the far side of the scrub and look in to the reserve from the outside. We spent a good half hour here to no avail. A Blackbird, a Woodpigeon, a Blue Tit and a Robin were all the pair of us could muster.
We called it a day as it was getting lateish in the afternoon and we were only half way round the trail and you know who was already feeling the distance on his knackered old elbows. If we thought the walk in was slow the walk back to the Land Rover was excruciatingly slow with a hundred and one stops including some total refusals
A flock of distant ducks circling the mere caught our eye and through the bins became five Pintails - a good record for here.
Back at the wetland another Reed Bunting was seen but no Water Rails were heard this time.
Frank has hardly moved since he got back to Base Camp, apart from getting up for his dinner of course!
Where to next? Day off tomorrow but we do have a tired Sniffer-Billy to drag round where-ever we might head out to, might even try for that elusive owl again...well with this wildlify stuff you never know do you?
In the meantime let us know what's seriously well hidden in your outback.