Friday, 16 October 2015

After the goldrush

The Safari was back on home turf yesterday and was able to nip out for an hour or so to see if we could catch up with the Snow Bunting seeing as how we didn't see any in Yorkshire as we expected.
We walked up the beach and we walked down the beach, we looked under the boats and around the old tractors with no luck, and now we were really wishing we'd met up with LCV on Sunday! However, walking back along the promenade to the car a Wheatear flitted along the path in front of us, would this be the same one he saw at the weekend or is it a new one? We fired off a few shots and we caught up by three chatty ladies who wanted to know what type of bird we were looking at. They all got a good view of its white bottom and tittered at its old name that the Victorians allegedly disapproved of - White-arse - so they gentrified the name. After several minutes of chat we'd got our-self a speaking date at the nearby village's WI next year.
From there we made our way to the nature reserve in the afternoon where the volunteers were enjoying their second hedge-laying training session, on a hedge we laid about 20 years ago -we won't tell you what the professionals said but thankfully it wasn't all bad.
It can't have been too difficult to work on our left-overs as they'd cracked on with it and a few more pleachers had them joining up.
Starts to look impressive when you can see a long stretch
And from the other side, it's the reserve's boundary hedge although the vegetation on the right of the fence (above) is also in the reserve being added some years later than the original designation.
It is brutal but does bring all the vegetation down to ground level providing shelter for all the small wee beasties and it'll grow back thicker next year...far better than whacking it with a flail into a useless gappy, exposed three feet square box that neither use nor ornament and you wonder why there's hardly any wildlife in the countryside. And we got a big bag of firewood.
It's a great skill to learn so if you ever get the chance go for it!
A Goldcrest - just the one! - called from the scrub behind us, a few Redwings dropped in and a Jay flew over.
Today we back at the nature reserve in the morning and started for a change at the Feeding Station. It was still quite dark early on a cloudy morning. Little was up having breakfast apart from a couple of Magpies. It's not often we see them clinging to feeders like Blue Tits round here but they seem to have got  the hang of it here.
There was almost silence as we walked round dodging a procession of unleashed dogs. All we really noted were small flocks of Redwings dropping in and coming out of the scrub. At the Channel Scrape there were 50% more Wigeon than we've seen on recent visits - three!
Sadly we've had more numpties on the reserve trying to get onto the Channel Scrape. This amount of stones wasn't done quickly and some are real heavy whoppers! Someone doing it overnight? Fishermen? Shooters?
Another longer visit in the afternoon saw us back in the Feeding Station hoping for the Coal Tits to appear. Since our morning visit more food had been put out and now there were no fewer than seven Magpies and several Chaffinches. It was still quite dark mind.
With all that food on offer it was inevitable that the Coal Tits would some in for a nut or two.
You've gotta be quick on the shutter button they don't hang around for more than a couple of milli-seconds.
Best bird of the day was reserved for our first proper visit to the recently named Heron Hide. A scan through the gulls had us finding a nice adult Mediterranean Gull. Job done!
Where to next? Another adventure starts tomorrow, we might be incommunicado for a few days.
In the meantime let us know who dropped for a wash n brush-up in your outback.

No comments: