Friday, 9 September 2011

The last few days....

Will try not to waffle today and keep things nice and summary-ish

Wednesday 7th September.

Whilst driving from Northampton to Leicester I gave many of the reservoirs en-route a look over in the hope of picking up some weak at the wings seabird that had been inadvertantly blown off course and into the not very sea-ish midlands. No such luck however with Pitsford, Hollowell, Ravensthorpe, Naseby, Welford and Saddington reservoirs all seemingly devoid of the Gannets, Skuas, Puffins and Crested Auklets that i'd been dreaming of. Nevermind.

Thursday 8th September.

Took Amy to Egleton reserve at Rutland for the first time and just visited the hides on the right hand side. I say "just" - it still must be close to a dozen hides spread over about 3-4 miles of path. Much the same birds were seen as my visit to Rutland in the previous blog post so I won't blather on and on about that but 2 Curlew Sandpipers from Goldeneye hide were nice and Lagoon 6 went one better by having no birds on it at all. Another tale of woe is forthcoming here so if you're tired of my complaining about not seeing stuff scroll down to the write up for today. Quickly. Anyway upon leaving the reserve at about 6pm I drove towards Northampton instead of Leicester as thats where we were heading and thus missed the usual Eyebrook reservoir detour on the way home. If I had went and had a shufty at Eyebrook or had the twitter phone alerts thing I thought I had set up worked I would have seen a Manx Shearwater. Yes, albeit an exhausted individual that was clearly not the happiest of campers and would be found deceased the next morning (today) which wouldn't have been nice viewing but it would at least have been a county tick. So in the last few weeks its been:
Cattle Egret - ran a merry dance around hooded birder.
Red necked Phalarope - was cruising around Lag 4 whilst I sat 500yards away in Shoveler hide, unaware.
Manx Shearwater - sent telepathic signals telling me to drive to Northampton instead and then sabotaged the twitter network. And then died.
So all in all I believe i'm just wank at this county rare game!

here, have a blurry Sparrowhawk from Rutland instead of a blurry Shearwater.

Friday 9th September

Did a smaller repeat of Wednesdays game early this afternoon, visiting Naseby, Welford and Saddington reservoirs on the hunt for more near death seabirds to poke cameras at and predictably I didn't see any. Welford and Saddington were both disappointing but Naseby was the unexpected jewel in the crown with a nice haul of waders. This was unexpected due to the fact that my history with Naseby isn't good: despite many visits at different times of year I almost always see absolutely nothing of note. So it makes me wonder why I bother driving the mile or so down a gravel track just to get to a place that doesnt have any birds to look at. Today I broke my Naseby voodoo in spectacular style with a nice haul of small waders present in the small bay close to the car park and some other larger beasts on the far shores. After a couple of scans, i'd tallied 6 Dunlin, 1 juv. Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 2 Greenshank and 12+ Ringed Plover - all of which bar the Greenshank were site ticks! Yes, I'd never even seen a Ringed Plover at Naseby before!

Curlew Sand and a couple of Plovers.
On the way home I struck lucky and spied a familiar looking blob in a tree that had me slamming on the brakes and turning around for a second look. I was rewarded with this little fellow.

"im a tree, honest"

Who after a few minutes decided I wasn't so much of a threat and came out for a better look:

after 15 or so minutes watching this chap (he/she didn't take their eyes off me the whole time I was there) I left him/her to it and went home delighted with my best to date owl images!

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