Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Two whole English afternoons out n about

The Safari was able to get two extra afternoons on safari when our best boy LCV came up from his usual Midland haunts to take us out. Unfortunately work commitments wouldn't allow two full days with m'laddo.
Our first adventure was to the local Great Grey Shrike site as he wanted to see some of our local specialties, he'd already dipped out on the  fresh-in Hen Harrier at the nearby salt-marsh but had fluked some Bewick's Swans - only revealed when we downloaded his photos onto our computer.
Another birder was already in residence but hadn't seen it. We had a good mooch around and had no luck either. We were about to leave but had a shuffy on the other side of the road where we somehow
flushed a Jack Snipe from the track-side wet field. In the distance we thought we heard a Grey Partridge calling but with all the road noise we couldn't be certain and the crop was too tall for it to show itself.
A shout from the far side of the road alerted us to the appearance of the shrike. Good man - cheers bud. We dived back through the traffic and there it was perched on the wrong side of the only bush on the right hand side of the footpath. No chance of any proper pics but it did give excellent scope views. A good bird round here but fairly regular around LCV's Midland patches.
From there we hit the nature reserve. LCV had a few on his 'hit-list' three of which were owls which would mean hanging on til it got dark. There were others waiting for the Firecrest so we joined them.
Yet again it was a no-show, who'd have guessed! 
A wander down the path to have a look for the Long Eared Owls but they haven't returned since being disturbed by insensitive birders a while ago. We hung around the Dusky Warbler area but only heard a couple of Cetti's Warblers.
Fieldfares chacked overhead coming off the field to go to roost in the scrub. The fields also held a couple of thousand Starlings, one small group start to murmurate over the reed-bed but eventually shipped off westwards towards the pier.
Dusk fell but there was no sign of the Barn Owl leaving the box nor the Little Owl popping up on the old barn roof.
Nice sunset though
Our second day didn't quite go to plan! He went off in the morning to see the Shore Lark, a very scarce bird round his parts and one he's not seen since we took him as a youngster to the Fairhaven three many years ago. He did find the Twite mixed in with the Linnet flock and got plenty of year birds in the form of waders and other sea birds. But the Shore Lark eluded him, and others,  somehow. Somehow being that it was 'dogged off' somewhere down the beach. He badly wanted to see it so we let him take us back after lunch for another look.
Again it wasn't there on the grass by the car park so it was a walk along the prom staring at the shingle. No sign of the little blighter and we were all but about to give up when we saw two photographers much further down the beach set up on something. A distant look threough the scope confirmed our suspicions - there it was on the wrack-line. A few minutes later we had superb views and were able to sneak closer behind a groyne to get some nice pics.
At last a proper pic of's a beaut and well worth a look even/especially if you haven't got a camera.
The walk back was a filled with smiles and then the little rotter flew over us back to the grass by the car park where it posed nicely again.
And then it was back to the nature reserve for yet more Firecrest agony. We're beginning to think it doesn't actually exist.
All to soon it went dark and we had to abandon ship with us getting a couple of new birds for the nature reserve taking us 62 there and we picked up Eider (109) on the sea at the lark site.
Today we managed a short lunchtime sojourn to the nature reserve on the way back to the office from our school visit where we ate our lunch and didn't see the Firecrest - who'd have guessed. But we did hear a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming (MMLNR #63).
Where to next? Might have a go at Patch 2 tomorrow, that'll make a refreshing change.
In the meantime let us know who's performed properly at last in your outback.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Oooooh, very nice Shorelark, nice one Davyman :-)