Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Goodbye to the Beard

Vince Cowell © 2009 Vince Cowell
Bittern (c) Tony Robinson
Great Crested Grebe © 2009 Vince Cowell
Long-tailed Tit © 2009 Vince Cowell
Today was our final visit to the Bearded Tit location. Norma had the best views, as just after 9 am a pair came within 10 feet of our vantage point. However Tony & Miles, and Susan & Michael also had good views as 2 male birds came in – still before the official start time of 9.45. Of course, after the start time just one bird was seen briefly in flight, so Anthony, Val & Stephen didn’t see one at all. We went on to Ness End Farm where we saw 2 different Bitterns in flight, plus good views of a Water Rail. Opposite the hotel were a pair of drake Goldeneye, plus 30+ Pochards. We also saw 3 Bullfinches (2 males) & several Redwing. The afternoon group got an idea of what twitching can be like on a bad day, as no Bearded Tits were seen although we waited for well over half-an-hour - of course real twitchers wait a lot longer than that! There were no Bitterns to see & the Water Rail refused to show itself. We did have 2 Willow Tits though – one at the new area & another at the old feeding station. The final 20 minutes were enlivened by a rampaging Great Crested Grebe & an over excited Little Grebe. The morning session had a knockout ending provided by Norma’s delicious homemade Sloe Gin & excellent fruit cake. Morning species tally: 41. The light conditions were rather poor today, resulting in grainy pictures, so thanks to Vince Cowell, for supplying pics at the same location yesterday in top-grade light!

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