Saturday, 31 January 2015

Are we allowed to count it?

The Safari was allowed out for a few hours this arvo provided we stopped at the shops for a few emergency supplies on the way back to Base Camp, only one place to go, Firecrest-land aka the nature reserve.
There was a steady stream of hopefuls all afternoon. The friendly Robin kept us on our toes as it flitted through the undergrowth (past the Snowdrops we photod last week which are now fully open but not photod today). It has found some friends who have brought some extra nosh.
The low afternoon sun was streaming through the reedheads and it actualy felt quite warm out of the cold strong wind.
It was almost birdless until a Cetti's Warbler and then a Water Rail started calling.And then a couple of Goldcrests and a Blue Tit turned up. Better than that the long staying Treecreeper (108, MMLNR #60) was with them. Assuming it is the same one that was reported as a ?Northern type a couple of weeks ago.
It's been the best part of 20 years since we last saw one there and we believe there's only been a couple of sightings since then and only two prior to that one.
We just about managed a pic of it as it probed around the tree trunks mostly on the shady side.
Not the best pic!
It rarely ventured into the light and when it did it was often obscured by branches.
More hopeful watchers came and went and came back again but the hoped for Firecrest simply refused to show.
Out on the water the gulls kept lifting but it wasn't until the third or fourth time we saw the culprit - a Great Black Backed Gull. In similar vein the ducks on the far side and our side frequently flushed out off the reeds in a blind panic but not once did we see what was causing it - the whole group of us were almost willing the Otter to come out of the reds on our side and show itself. There were a large number of Wigeon, well over 100 - uncounted - but not as many Teal as in recent weeks and they were almost silent.
Over the far fields a flock of about 200 Lapwings wheeled around several times and once we made the horrendous mistake of misidentifying a much larger flock of Pink Footed Geese as them!
These must have been the ones reported earlier in the day from down the lane with the Bean Goose and been disturbed off their feed. So the flock in the air circling over the far end of the mere must have held it. Can we count it on our Mere list???
A small portion of the 500 or so Pinks + 1
Time and the cold beat us in the end and somehow after all the hours we've spent down there we're still Firecrest-less. The Stonechats weren't at the wetland on the walk back to the Land Rover either.
So can we count it? Plleeeeeaase pretty pleeaaase...
Where to next? A day out somewhere beckons but we're not sure where yet.
In the meantime let us know who's keeping well out of the way in your outback.

1 comment:

cliff said...

Can't believe the Firecrest hasn't turned up on one of your marathon stakeouts there. The Treecreeper will have softened the disappointment though.
The sun lighting up the reedbeds was superb on Friday too but I only had my big lens so couldn't get a photo.