Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Admire my Ear Tufts!

In the morning the most notable thing was dodging the dog mess which was horrific at this site. However, I'll forbear from putting up loads of images of that visual treat. Some of the 38 birds seen included: Black-tailked Godwit, Lapwing, Fieldfare, Redwing, Wigeon, Goldeneye, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Curlews etc.

The afternoon was a different matter. Shortly after 1pm we saw a Short-eared Owl having a prolonged 'dog' fight with a Kestrel. It was seen hunting over a reedbed for a considerable time, but then I spotted another at the opposite end of the area. I fiddled with my camera setting while my 'students' noted the point at which it seemed to disappear into the reedbed. As we neared the area I noticed that was the one point some branches of a washed-up tree were appearing over the heads of the reeds. We crept closer & I fixed my gaze on the lower regions of the tree, and eventually I could just make out the shape of the Short-eared Owl, but it was almost completely obscured by the reeds.

We inched closer & then Sue set up her scope on the owl so everyone could get a decent view, while I tried to get even nearer. Everyone had taken a look at the bird through the scope when it realised I was watching it. It permitted me to get within photography distance before taking to the air. The fighting Owl & the one which was perched certainly made the afternoon pretty special. Hopefully, the morning group will never realised what they missed!
Short-eared Owl
Am I bothered?
The 1st glimpse through the reeds
Taking to the skies at last
Meanwhile some 'students' from the am went to see an SEO elsewhere
(c) 2011 Tony Robinson

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