Monday, 22 December 2014

Change of plan

The Safari decided not to make it fiver dips in a row with the dodgy geese today. We had an errand to do at work, we'd forgotten to do something before darting out the door on Friday arvo so had to make good to today, that meant going out which meant we could do a bit of wildlifing. At the back door at work we  saw that the first Daffodils of spring??? are opening, it was only Winter Solstice yesterday and we ain't had Christmas yet. It's very mild here 10C last night, that's the average daily minimum for June!!!
From work we went to the nature reserve for the first time in ages.
There were a good few gulls coming and going dipping in for a wash n brush up.

The light was dreadful and the wind worse. The sound track of our visit was the very pleasant pleeping of the Teal and the wind rustling the Reeds. We counted 67 Coot but there must have been plenty more out of sight, in plain sight were 13 Cormorants sat on the remains of the bund round the scrape, the adults already showing their white thigh patch - not seen any like that on Patch 2 yet. 
There wasn't a lot happening best of the rest were singles of Great Crested Grebe and Tufted Duck. We spent a good deal of time looking at the gulls but without finding anything out of the ordinary. There were a good number of Common Gulls and someone to our right turned up and started chucking some bread around much to the delight of the gathered gulls and a few Carrion Crows. Rule one - don't be the first bird to the slice of bread - - odds are you won't be the one that swallows it!
Leaving the hide we heard a Goldcrest calling from the Blackthorn thicket, we didn't hang around to see if we could get a glimpse of it.
We had a wander down to the 'affectionately' known Ice Station Zebra hide - we'll let you use your imagination as to how it has come to be called that. Suffice to say it lived up to its name today. Here the soundtrack was the whistling of Wigeon, beautiful.
There was a large flock of Canada Geese to our left, not quite as exciting as the genuine wild ones maybe only a mile or so down the road.
A scan around before we took to looking at the gulls gave us a few Mallards, a pair of Goldeneyes, more Coot.
While we were searching the gulls for odd-balls we heard a Water Rail and a Cetti's Warbler but saw little else. The gulls gave us only seven 1st winter Black Headed Gulls out of a count of about 130, which is 5.4% not sure if that's normal, good or bad.
Wigeon were all around but we didn't see very many at all.
The Canada Geese started to cruise bu in a serene flotilla, proably to go and roost on the island even though the wind would be stronger down there.
We took a bit of video, which species can you see, there's no Common Gulls as far as we can see.

Answer tomorrow.
Where to next? Hopefully there'll be a safari tomorrow, but where - still likely to be v v windy though.
In the meantime let us know who's doing the whistling in your outback.

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