Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Still a bit of ice about

The Safari was back at the nature reserve by late morning today but with Frank this time so it was Guide in the Hide or bust.
It was a little warmer than yesterday but hazy cloud and a very light breeze made it feel colder...put it this way we were glad we've gone wussy and brought a cushion to prevent a bad attack pf numb-bum on the wooden seats in the hide.
Outside the hide something had come to grief at the talons of a Sparrowhawk more than likely. Talking of Sparrowhawks one put everything to flight as it cruised along the tops of the reeds along the far bank.
This wasn't the only time the waterfowl, mostly Teal, Wigeon and Coots over that side, were flushed; often it was a Cormorant fishing the reed edge popping up to the surface unexpectedly that was upsetting them. Nine Cormorants was the maximum count but odd ones came and went throughout the afternoon.
In the reeds close by a Cetti's Warbler 'chipped' frequently for several minutes not long after we arrived but refused point blank to show itself, we could see where it was by the reed stems shuddering as it moved around tantalising close to the edge.
A Robin was doing its best at a poor impression of said warbler but it was jumping around flycatching Winter Gnats.
The gulls proved interesting but there was no ice in view for them to roost out on today and nothing out of the ordinary was noted.
There were many ducks out of sight but we counted 114 Coots, 26 Shovelers, 14 Gadwall and a single Pochard but these are very much minimum numbers.
Around half time the sun came out and Frank slonked off out of the hide for a Rabbitty sniff-athon
Looks a bit guilty doesn't he
Now he's doing his best to look cute
We're biased but he's a lovely boy!
Four Grey Lag Geese flew in and flew out an hour later and towards the end of our four hour hide-athon a Little Grebe just about came in to view on the limit of our vision to the left.
Still the gulls refused to give anything out of the ordinary up.
The sun started to drop as a pair of Mallards came in as close as the ice would allow and started to get fruity with an extended mating session. The Teal too were getting n the mood with some eager displaying and lots of 'pleeping'.

A Buzzard seen quartering the field where the shooter was yesterday from the Land Rover as we drove home was a good end to a great day.
Where to next? Not sure tomorrow as we've got a hospital appointment but that could mean a walk through the big park to see what's about in there - we've not been for a good while.
In the meantime let us know who's melting the ice in your outback.

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