Saturday, 19 January 2019

An Interesting Second Week

On the Tuesday of the second week the planned location didn't have any birds of interest, the same thing happened to the alternative, so we decamped to the LDV again.  The Tuesday group encountered exactly the same number of species as they saw at the urban park last week, but there were 15 different species this time making a total of 52 this term after two weeks.  Bird seen on Tuesday included: Pintail, Goldeneye, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwits. Shoveler, Wigeon, Buzzard, Bullfinch, Kestrel, Greenfinch & Tree Sparrows etc.
Female Kestrel 
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Male Kestrel
 Ditto
 Ditto
 ditto
 Goldeneye
 Buzzard
"Get thee to a Nunnery"
On Wednesday morning we had to rather rush round East Park to try and see as much as we could before the rain came.  It was a very heavy squally shower while it lasted, but it only lasted around 10 minutes.  It remained grey after that for the whole afternoon, but we did see a rather special bird.  Both groups saw 32 species.  The morning group saw a nice bright Grey Wagtail, but the pm session saw a Hooded Crow and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.  Other birds seen included: Goosander, 2 Treecreepers, Mistle Thrush, Great Crested Grebe, Goldcrests, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Long-tailed Tit, Collared Dove & Stock Dove
Pochard
 Tufted Duck
Tufted Duck (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
 Ditto
Tufted Duck (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Grey Wagtail 
Black-headed Gull (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
Black-headed Gulls
 ditto
 Common Gull
 Female Goosander
 Drake Goosander
Goosanders (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
Drake Goosanders
 Great Spotted Woodpecker
 Mistle Thrush
 Hooded Crow
 ditto
Leucistic Carrion Crow
Crow (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
Treecreeper (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce

 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto

 Treecreeper (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Stock Dove (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Stock Dove
Goldcrest (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
 Ditto
Robin (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Greylag (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
On Thursday we went to Ness End as planned.  There was a very cold wind for the first time this winter, which took some getting used to.  The morning group encountered 32 species, but the highlight was undoubtedly a confiding Kingfisher, which flew past Reedy Hide a few times before landing on a post directly in front of the hide - just a shame the light was in the wrong place!  There was no Kingfisher in the afternoon, but to compensate we had an excellent view of a Bittern, two different Marsh Harriers and a Bullfinch.  The afternoon group probably almost equalled the am session.  Other birds seen included: Water Rail, Goldeneye, Long-tailed Tit, Heron, Reed Bunting, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck, Redshank & Cormorants etc.
Liz's Bittern
 Taking Off
 ditto
 Spread Wings
 ditto
 Heading Towards Ness Hide
 ditto
 ditto
 ditto
 Look at the claws!
 Undercarriage Down
 Bittern's Cousin
 Kingfisher
 ditto
Long-tailed Tit
 ditto
 Marsh Harrier
 ditto
 ditto
 Redshank
 Redshank
 Redshank 
Wigeon (c) 2019 Nigel Kitchen
 ditto
Reed Bunting
 ditto
 Drake Shelduck
 ditto
Shoveler (c) 2019 Nigel Kitchen
The flank of a Water Rail
 Record Shot of Water Rail 
Bullfinch (c) 2019 Nigel Kitchen
Shrew
On Friday we were able to go to Tophill Low as planned.  Unfortunately, the marshes were completely iced over, so were devoid of birds.  However, the reservoirs and Watton Borrow Pits were clear, so there were plenty of birds there.  The woods also had a few passerines, and there were lots of bird near the feeders, including an obliging Marsh Tit.
The 43+ species observed included: Red-Necked Grebe (pm only), 11 White-fronted Geese, Kingfisher, 4 Pintail [3 drakes], Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon, Shoveler, Shelduck, Teal, Snipe, Gadwall, Redshank, Buzzard.  A drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard before the am class started, but was never heard or seen once the classes began.
Great Crested Grebe
 A Courting Pair
 Red-Necked Grebe (c) 2019 Mike Woods
 ditto
 ditto
White-fronted Geese
 ditto
 ditto
 Roosting Pintail
 Pintail and Swan
 Pintail (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
 Ditto
Pintail (c) 2019 Mike Woods
 Great Crested Grebes (c) 2019 Mike Woods
Shelduck
 Kestrel
 ditto
Several afternoon members decided to try the northern part of the site for the Barn Owl.  I was luckier as there was one perched just outside the reserve on the hedge on the approach road.  It was a beauty.
Barn Owl
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto 
Finally, a few photos from home and the Heron on the way to Stone Creek.
 Grey Wagtail 
 Ditto
Sparrowhawk with a Goldfinch
 Sparrowhawk
 Heron