Sunday, 4 December 2016

Surely not another morning on the nature reserve

The Safari spotted a midge/gnatty thing on the outside of the kitchen window late yesterday afternoon and went to get the super-macro. What fantastically feathery head-gear! Shame the pic had to be taken through two panes of dirty glass with near darkness outside.
This morning we were able to have a couple of hours at the nature reserve in some bright almost warm sunshine, warm enough for a visiting birder to be wandering around in shorts. Like the other day there were a decent number of Blackbirds about although maybe not quite so many.
One of the far far too many dog walkers with unleashed dogs told us an owl had been seen earlier. The amount of doggy disturbance this morning was seriously shocking - if only the main path wasn't a Public Footpath and the gate could be locked...wouldn't stop them one would be down with bolt croppers within hours no doubt and before then most of them would have climbed over anyway; they're a nightmare! 
Passing a few flushed Fieldfares we walked down to another out-of-town birder who was obviously looking for the owl but in the wrong place. We joined him and showed him where we'd seen it the day before yesterday but couldn't see it in there today. With both of us looking for about half an hour we eventually found it for him...in the tree it was in the day before yesterday but now the sun had moved round it was seeable - just.
We took it in turns to stand in the only specific spot from which it could be seen when a Chiffchaff flew past behind it. A Redwing perched briefly behind it too and had a little feather flurry but was more than slightly obscured by the closer tall summer's dead vegetation.
Moving on we saw more very wary Fieldfares and Redwings a shy Great Spotted Woodpecker a fly-over Skylark and a Cetti's Warbler out in the open ever so briefly in the scrub. Further on we met MJ and EP who were setting off on the wrong path for a look at the Long Eared Owl so rather than describe where it was with the risk of them not finding it we retraced our steps and showed them the bird. By now the sun had moved round a bit more and a slightly better vantage point had been found. Slightly being the operative word!
Thank goodness for  manual focus!
Once again we'd lingered too long and it was time to head back to Base Camp before we'd had a chance to look properly at the waterfowl.
Where to next? Back to Patch 2 in the morning where there have been some good birds seen while we've not been able to look.
In the meantime let us know who's almost invisible in your outback.


1 comment:

Seumus Eaves said...

Dog walking is becoming a nightmare Dave and up here at Fleetwood we get those dog walking companies turn up at one of the nature reserves, open the van doors and let out up to a dozen dogs at once! The problem is that you can have 2 or 3 of these dog walking van services turn up at the same time! It's got to the stage now that I am starting to dislike dogs, but I don't really as it is the dog walkers and not the dogs that cause the problem. I'm even starting to dislike dog walkers more than cats, as you won't get a cat run along the beach flushing all the roosting waders for example!

The problem is I don't know how we can solve the problem as like you say if you prevent access they will come along and cut any locks, chains etc with bolt cutters! It's almost as if their mantra is "I have a dog, so I will have access"! Of course there are lots of lovely dog walkers who keep their dogs on a lead and they probably despair as much about the unruly ones as we do. The sad fact though is that these are in the minority!

Cheers, Seumus