Tuesday, 8 November 2011


The last few days have been very hectic, so this is the first chance I've had to bring things upto-date. On Thursday we changed to North Cave Wetlands because of a dodgy forecast. The Green Woodpecker was a new bird for some there, but we only had a distant view. The Little Grebes gave the best photo opportunities.

The weather on Friday was abysmal, but we stayed with our original intention of visiting Tophill Low. Despite the rain the Kingfisher put in a brief appearance for both sessions. The one in the morning was seen in poor light with rain clearly visible in the water behind it. A Water rail slinked past the reeds, but it was too dark to snatch a photograph. We saw 2 drake Goosanders heading south in the rain over D reservoir. The light had improved considerably by the afternoon & the pm crowd enjoyed 2 visits. With the improving light a photographer had also turned up. We went on to see 2 Barn Owls near the North Scrub box, 2 Whooper Swans flew over heading south & a Black-tailed Godwit was flushed briefly in the Hempholme area. The pm session saw 5 red-legged Partridges in the new scrape area, plus at least 3 Mistle Thrushes. We bumped into the reserve warden, who escorted us into parts of the site I hadn't visited before. He showed us paths made by Otters & everyone sniffed Otter poo & were suitably impressed with its sweet aroma - which managed to smell completely unlike lavendar!

On Saturday morning we had an influx of Woodcocks with at least 4, and perhaps 6 concealing themselves at the base of some of the trees. Unfortunately, they weren't very relaxed & were soon flushed & the morning was too dark for photography.

The Red Kite roost event at the Robert Fuller Gallery went well with perhaps 12 individuals seen, but the photo opportunities weren't as good as last week. The Saturday SEO safari is described on the previous post, but we went there again yesterday. Several participants weren't dressed warmly enough, and the weather was very gloomy & we had drizzle at first. This meant that the Owls seemed more likely to perch in the open, so we had good views of those, & I went back for the telescope so everyone could enjoy better views. We also had several chances to appreciate an immature female Hen Harrier, which came fairly close at times.
Tophill Kingfisher - showing its right profile
Now it wants its left side to be admired!
Immature Sparrowhawk
Little Grebe
A Silver Birch - & if you look really carefully there is a Green Woodpecker

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