Friday, 23 September 2011

The Eyes Have It

Yesterday didn't begin very promisingly with major path construction work underway, plus several of the pools completely devoid of standing water. Some of the Usual Suspects were still present, but many of the waders which were there a fortnight ago had departed. The reserve is now awaiting the high tides at the end of this month to see if flood waters will replenish the water supply. Despite this we did see: 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Greenshank, a handful of Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Snipe, Little Egret, Heron, Shelduck, Shoveler, Teal & Mallard. About 6 different individual Marsh Harriers were seen, and a Kestrel being mobbed by a crow, but the highlight of the afternoon was provided by a common or garden Sparrowhawk. I pointed it out to my 'pupils' having a drink but a photographer with a much longer lens managed to get on to it & fire off the impressive shots below. Thanks to Ray Schofield for sending his pictures. The path construction work was completed, so visitors to the reserve today shouldn't encounter the same problems
Sparrowhawk (c) 2011 Ray Schofield
Sparrowhawk (c) 2011 Ray Schofield
Sparrowhawk (c) 2011 Ray Schofield
Below - the best I could manage of the same bird!

Heron (c) 2011 Ray Schofield
Little Egret
Marsh Harrier
Record Shot of Greenshank
Red Underwing
Blow-fly sp

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