Tuesday, 7 September 2010

New Term - Return of an Icon!

Kingfisher (female) [enhanced by Nick Cantle]

Speckled Wood
Melanistic Wild Rabbit
Swallow - watching me as I got out of the car!
Dead Men's Fingers
The 2010 Autmn term started 3 weeks earlier than normal to try & take advantage of the better weather in early September, only to find last night's forecast was absolutely lousy! We were due to be at a very exposed location and showers & 30 mph winds were forecast, so we had to switch to Tophill Low instead. The strong winds didn't materialise, but at least the change to Tophill Low was vindicated. Both groups had extremely close views of a Kingfisher - in the morning a female, (and brief views of another bird), whilst the afternoon group saw a male bird. Both groups also had good views of a Treecreeper, but only the morning session had excellent sightings of Goldcrests and Coal Tits - Oh, and a melanistic Rabbit! However, the afternoon countered with a low-flying female Marsh harrier over D Reservoir & D Woods, and a couple of views of a distant Buzzard. We weren't able to visit the whole reserve, so just visited the northern site, and saw Great Crested Grebes, Tufted Duck, Pochard, and Lesser Black-Backed & Common Gulls. Other birds included: Heron, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Cormorant, Chaffinches, and Moorhens. Steve from the morning group stayed behind to explore the south part of the site, so he may have seen some more exciting birds, including waders. When I returned home the female Swallow was sat in the garage, and refused to move, as I unloaded the car & covered the bonnet with the curtain - presumably the second-brood chicks are about to fledge!

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