Sunday, 20 April 2014

A similar day but better pics

The Safari was delving into the moth trap with excitement this morning as we'd been able to use the big light last night, we got a slightly better catch than of recent was five Hebrew Characters showing their variety in shades and sizes and a rather pale Common Quaker but maybe the usual black CFL would have pulled these in too.

the nature reserve not quiet as early as yesterday but the morning was less windy and much warmer, consequently the birdsong was much more in evidence. As soon as we left the Land Rover and went through the gate we spotted this lovely male Reed Bunting pulling seeds out of the fluffbombs that are the heads of the Greater Reedmace against the low sun the scene was very dramatic - a stunning way to start the day.
Wandering on we enjoyed the songs of Lesser Whitethroat at the allotments and normal Whitethroats in the Brambles and Hawthorns a little further on. Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Blackbirds added to the morning music.
The track leading to thee old cabins had a few small birds 'feeding' on grit at the side of the path, we put the bins on them to reveal they were a pair of Chaffinches and a pair of Linnets. There seem to be a few more Linnets around this year which is good to see. We tried to sneak up on them but they flushed so we were pleased to have fired off a few shots a minute or so earlier.
Inside the reserve we soon heard the reel of the Grasshopper Warbler but could we see it!!! The 'inland' Cetti's Warbler was vocal again but once again unseen. Notable by their absence were Willow Warblers.
In the 'Paddock' there was a real unusual sight, a pair of Grey Lag Geese, never seen them in there before...bizarre.
While we tried to get a bead on the Cetti's a male Linnet landed at the top of a nearby tree and began to sing.
Slightly over-processed - sorry, it was a fraction out of effective range.
Down where the Bee Orchids are we spotted a Puffball lurking in the grass.
Another 'inland' Cetti's, the one we so unsuccessfully photographed yesterday was blasting out at full volume but like the earlier one we couldn't get to grips with it today until it flew across the path in front of us and straight into deep cover.
Our second 'usual' Grasshopper Warbler wasn't performing today, has it moved on?
A 'new' Sedge Warbler sang enthusiastically but there was nothing from the Reed Warblers this morning. Whilst looking to see if we could get a look at said Sedgy we saw a large green leaf taller than the growing reeds, Water Dock - wow not common up this way. A look in THE book later showed no local records! We think it might have appeared in response to the recent-ish reedbed dredging works disturbing the seedbank.
Behind us the gulls went up from the fields in a raucous clamour, something had spooked them. Found it, nothing exciting just yet another helium balloon sailing on the wind on its way to becoming litter somewhere.
Another Cetti's Warbler gave much better views but all too easily evaded the lens. By the time we got all the way round we'd had a definite seven and maybe eight singing males!
A second round of the reserve mid-afternoon after the rain didn't give us the hoped for dropped migrant, in fact it was much quieter than the morning traipse.
Another great day on safari draws to a close.
Where to next? Mothy is on again. Up north tomorrow but maybe more boozin than wildlifin but there's  always something to see if you keep your eyes peeled.
In the meantime let us know who was in the most unlikely place in your outback.

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