Thursday, 21 March 2013

Cloaked in Mystery

Surprisingly, the weather forecast was awful again for Wednesday, so Allerthorpe Common was dropped in favour of North Cave Wetlands. For the 2nd day running the day wasn't actually as bad as the forecast, but it was a lot worse than Tuesday at Tophill Low. The birds weren't as good either, with only the long-staying Redhead Smew being of special interest.

Parochial Man of Mystery (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart
 Avocets (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart
 Avocets (c) 2013 Tony Robinson

In the morning there was a work party erecting screens and tree planting, whilst the pm crowd had to negotiate a primary school party. At one stage we were followed by a bloke in full camouflage gear in very thick wellies, carrying a specialised under water camera, and plenty of green webbing. He later threw himself on the floor in a corner & seemed to be trying to obtain a picture of the female Smew. I'm not sure how he managed, as the light was abysmal. 

All remaining pictures (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart
There were a few Redwings scattered at either end of the reserve, and a solitary female Siskin.  These were just a few signs of a lingering winter.  There weren't many indications of a burgeoning vernal season, on what some people asserted was the first day of Spring.
 Black-headed Gull
 Common Gull
In the morning just before we left a bloke with the breathing control of Darth Vader, set up his telescope, making more noise than the 12 other people in the hide added together. His black cloak was only metaphorical, but he certainly gave me the shivers when his strange breathing pattern reverberated around the hide.  He wasn't prepared to walk right round the reserve for the sake of a female Smew - a drake, yes, but no way for a female. Quite a contrast with the earlier chap, who the class thought was extremely eccentric in quite a different way. 

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