Friday, 21 November 2014

Twice Bittern

Yesterday, we had our final day over the Humber Bridge, and despite the gloomy conditions people didn't leave disappointed.  The bearded Tits were too far away to be photographed, but I was able to take record shots of nearly everything else.
 Looking in the Mirror
 Spotting the Enemy
 Does my Neck look Big in This?
 Less Ruffled
 Calming Down
 Back to Normal
In Flight

Siberian? Chiffchaff
 Marsh Harrier
 Rock Pipit
 Water Rail

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Go Fly a Kite

On Saturday and Tuesday we had a look at the local Red Kite Roost.  Things didn't look very promising on Saturday with most participants driving through thick mist.  However, the afternoon started well with multiple Mistle Thrushes, a Goldcrest, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Marsh Tit and Greenfinches all in the adjacent area.  However, yesterday all these were absent as the car park area was much busier.  
Red Kite
Red Kite (c) 2014 Maggie Bruce
We shared cars to the viewpoint, and on both days in the virtually wind free conditions many of the Red Kites were perched in trees.   In total we saw 33 birds on Saturday up to 3 o'clock, with much fewer there yesterday morning.  However, on both visits we saw Buzzards, Fieldfare, Redwing, Jay, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch and white Pheasants.  As far as I've been able to determine there are no Bramblings in the area this year.  
 Red Kite (c) 2014 Maggie Bruce
 Red Kite (c) 2014 Maggie Bruce
The biggest surprise was the Barn OIwl family we saw on Saturday afternoon - 4 birds in total.  This is a bird that's recently struggled on the wolds after some harsh winters, so it's really good news to find at least one area where they appear to be thriving.  On Tuesday, just one was on show, but even so it proved popular - it's one of those species, which most people seem to enjoy watching.  
Barn Owl (c) 2014 Maggie Bruce
 Barn Owl
 Nuthatch (c) 2014 Maggie Bruce

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Let them Shine!

Yesterday we crossed the Humber Bridge, but didn't venture too far into alien territory.  It was a day when the students were really able to shine.  First, Anthony spotted the Common Scoter among all the other ducks.  Then, while we were watching a Rock Pipit, Miles saw and identified a pair of delightfully confiding Snow Buntings.  Finally, in Reedy Hide Tony observed the Bittern fly out from the reeds in front of the Main Hide.  It was very distant, but it stayed in the open long enough to be seen by all.  In the afternoon the Bittern was the only one of the big three which didn't put on a repeat performance!
Snow Bunting

 Record Shots of the Bittern

 Record Shots of the Common Scoter

Friday, 7 November 2014

Form an Orderly Queue

Yesterday it seemed queuing was all the rage - with 14 Moorhens under the feeding station & the Konik Ponies.  The rest of the wildlife wasn't quite so orderly, but they well non the worse for that.  For both groups the highlight was the female Kingfisher at Townend.  So, don't just look out over the water, sometimes it's worth looking down into the stream below!
Konick Ponies
 Female Kingfisher - with lipstick and mud

 Throughout the day some Marsh Harriers flew quite close to the hides, as did a Heron.
Marsh Harrier
In the afternoon 38 Black-tailed Godwits had dropped into Marshland by the time we visited in the afternoon.  There were also at least 6 Dunlin, and about 8 Spotted Redshank gathered on a tiny island at the back. 
Black-tailed Godwits
 Spotted Redshank