Saturday, 28 April 2012

Eyes Burning with Fire

Yesterday we travelled over the county border to try & find somewhere with hides & which holds 40-50 species.  The star bird was an elusive Black-necked Grebe.  Caroline was the first to spot it in the morning, and it also played hard to get in the afternoon, before eventually swimming right in front of the hide.  There were masses of House Martins & Swallows at first as the shower clouds lifted, then a few Swifts were sighted, as were a few Sand Martins.  
Other highlights included a stunning male Ruff, which was predominantly black spiced up with some burgundy & white.  We did see over 40 species.  Jim was the first to spot a Reed Warbler in a fairly scanty reedbed.  This was very hard to see at times, but everyone persevered until it has been seen well by all.  Both groups saw various phases of the Great Crested Grebe courtship dance, and Little Grebes made their presence felt with their whinnying/chittering calls.
Although we saw over 40 species, one disappointment was still the complete lack of passerine spring passage migrants apart from Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers & Blackcaps.  Let's hope they make it back soon!

Fiery Eyes
 Black-necked Grebe (c) 2012 Richard Whateley
 Reed Warbler
 Ruff - coming in to land
Great Crested Grebe - Courtship Dance 
 Great Crested Grebe - Synchronised
 Blue Tit - with a broken leg/foot
 Mute Swan
 Moorhen feeding young
The best Coot in the world (above) 
Pale Goose leading 2 Greylags

No comments: