Thursday, 20 October 2011

Not Waving, But Drowning

Those who arrived early this frosty morning were rewarded with a really smart-looking Fox. It sauntered through the old feeding station, pounced on a grass pile, and scratched itself on the 'lawn' before settling down under a patch of brambles to have a snooze in the sun.

This made up for the Kingfisher which failed to show for the morning session. Of course it had been seen before we arrived! A further compensation came in the form of a Sparrowhawk, which settled in some trees opposite the hide, but kept itself partially concealed until it chased a few birds. Another interesting sighting were 7 Whooper Swans which flew just over the hide heading South.

The afternoon Kingfisher vigil was almost a direct copy of the morning with the Kingfisher sighted an hour before our arrival, but not during our wait! This time the diversion was provided by a Barn Owl out hunting in broad sunlight at 1.30 in the afternoon, and that was after a clear dry evening. The Owls must be hungry, as it seems unlikely that they are still feeding chicks this late into the season! A pair of [probably] young Sparrowhawks indulged in some mid-air dog fights before one broke away & headed away from the hide. There was a Comma and a Red Admiral on a Ragwort-like plant in front of the hide, but a swimming creature turned out to be a Hawker species of Dragonfly. It almost appeared to be waving, as it flailed around, but unfortunately despite surviving a night of intense cold, it was not waving, but drowning! [Apologies to Hessle-born poet Stevie Smith].

Elsewhere on the reserve highlights included Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzard, Siskin, Redpoll, Little Grebe, Gadwall, Teal, Goldcrest & Long-tailed Tits.

Red Fox

Barn Owl

Long-tailed Tit
Red Admiral
Maggie's Cuckoo! [Sparrowhawk]
Common Darter
Hawker sp [Not Waving, but Drowning]

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