The Safari was able to get to the nature reserve for lunch today and had a wander down the main drag. As soon as we got out of the Land Rover we heard an unseen Skylark going over.
|Might be up for sale sometime soon|
Not so unseen and definitely heard were the 35 or so Jackdaws going south. A few Greenfinches dropped in to the scrub to feast on the multitude of berries.
A walk to the Feeding Station gave us the last Bramble flower of the year perched between the shriveled remains of uneaten berries.
Beneath it was a cluster of growing Shaggy Inkcaps, just right for picking and eating but not these - too close to a million and one passing dogs!
A brief visit to the Viewing Platform gave us a singing Cetti's Warbler and a shrieking Water Rail. Conditions looked good for Otter spotting but we didn't linger long - wonder if there's any still about.
Walking round the main drag we saw a couple of Redwings fly out of the Hawthorn scrub to our left. The further we walked the more we flushed, they were really skittish and wouldn't settle in view for a pic, probably at least 20 in all with a few more Greenfinches in the area too.
For some unknown reason we went down to the hide, dunno why you can't see out of it just yet - needs more wind and the Starlings to knock the reeds down. We have had news of 5 - 6000 Starlings roosting of late but they won't have been in this part of the reedbed. Well worth the visit though as we sat on the bench and peered out three birds flew from the SE and over the mere, three Jays (MMLNR #89)! They were over us too quickly to get a pic and we dived out the door but at the rear of the hide there is a copse of tall trees which totally obscured our aim, so no joy.
Retracing our steps up the path we stopped at the Long Eared Owl watching spot and looked for said owl...without success, we looked and looked and looked but couldn't find it. On the point of giving up a regular friendly dog walker came past and told us someone had just told him it was there - but where??? We looked and looked again, again without success and then there it was or at least there were it's feet - we spotted the lower half of it in the upper quarter of our field of view. Phew! We'd been looking too low. Close to where it was last year but further back and in a different tree.
|Shame the camera focused on the twig a yard or so in front of it...dohhh|
Job done! Now let's hope it sticks around and remains 'easy' - there's a bit of an 'event' coming up.
Time to have a quick look to see if the Barn Owl was showing in its box. It wasn't but we did pick up a couple more Cetti's Warblers and Water Rails. A gang of Long Tailed Tits had worked along the hedgerow by the dyke and come to the end and were now 'stuck'; where to next???
Some more Skylarks and a few Meadow Pipits went over and then another Jay - and this one landed but dived into the back of distant Willow bush so again not pic.
Dashing back to the Land Rover we noticed the Woodpigeons feeding on the berries were looking rather dapper in the bright afternoon light.
Where to next? Might well be back for another look tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know what's lurking in the bushes in your outback.