Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Supermarket Birding

Linnet (c) 2009 Phil Hargreaves
Meadow Pipit
Record shot of Rock Pipit (c) 2009 Phil Hargreaves
Evil Eye
Common Blue
Small Copper
Another sort of bird!
It's maybe not a widespread view, or a popular one, but today we had a day of what I think of as supermarket birding. The most obvious parallel is that everything is on its allocated shelf, and they're all packed in. It's also a busy, noisy place much as some supermarkets can be. Some of these places are heaving with people at this time of year, but I've managed to find somewhere where the crowds aren't too bad, and there are better, closer views of some of the birds. Where the analogy begins to diverge is this is quite a smelly place in a bad way, but supermarkets generally smell a little nicer, if a little too antiseptic for some tastes. I like to have a bit of a challenge when I'm birding but there were very few challenges here. Everything is so easy to see, c'mon this is birding for cheats - it should always be difficult, shouldn't it? All the usual suspects were on display, but I didn't manage to get a decent picture of a Razorbill. We made it to a new hide overlooking a marshy area, and we encountered a Barn Owl still hunting at 11 am. It eventually caught something, but a Kestrel swooped in for a bit of kleptoparasatism. We don't know who was the victor in the encounter, but the Barn Owl lay low for a while. Also on the marsh were Canada & Greylag Geese, Skylarks, Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Reed Buntings, and Goldfinches. We saw several Swifts flying south, whilst round the landing there were plenty of House Martins with 3 Sand Martins at lunch time. Did I mention, that the 'students' were very appreciative of both the venue and its birds? PS None of them went "weeeeeeee" when the Meadow Pipts were parachuting - must be a very advanced group of students!

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