Thursday 29 October 2009

Quiet Times

Well, I have been slacking off with the old blog lately, despite doing quite a bit. After the fine trip to the Wirral, noted below, I tried again and it all went wrong. The forecast promised sunshine, and there was blanket cloud, I managed to mistime the tide, so all the waders had moved and then when I moved to where they were, the high pressure meant the water didn't come up as high as expected, so everything was miles off, and then over at Inner Marsh, the long-billed dowitchers resolutely refused to come anywhere near the hide.

Did see quite a bit, along with the dowitchers, we saw the hen harrier and also a female merlin, plus a curlew sandpiper, but given the light and the distance, nothing came out worth keeping.
So the last weekend was spent locally, mooching around Upton Warren, hoping to see something good. In short I didn't. Quite a few usual suspects, and I was rewarded for a 3 hour wait with a 3 minute view of the bittern over on the North Moors pool.

There was also a pink-footed goose, but that favours an island near the centre of the pool, so massive crops were applied to get shots of that worth airing (record only).

I think it's perhaps too early for the woodland birds to be massing by the Flashes feeding station, so that will have to wait a bit. All the redwings I saw were flying overhead, so no chance of any shots, though I did see a couple in the gloom at the back of the bushes behind the North Moors pool, but was way too dark for a shot. An incoming sparrowhawk provided a very brief moment of excitement, but the light was all wrong and it was a miracle anything could be recovered from the shots taken.

The real stars I guess were the curlews, as they fed in the fields between the lakes and the road, and as they took flight. Managed some half decent shots, showing off the intricate details under their wings.

Oh, and old faithful, Little Grump didn't disappoint either. With the leaves from his oak falling away, finding him is getting easier by the day. He didn't even mind the burble of the Scooby's exhaust, as I parked a bit closer to get more detailed shots.

I wonder when the first fieldfares will start rolling in? Love trying for shots of these birds.


Max Silverman said...

Hi Pete,
Good to see you back on line.I've had some so so trips lately so it's good to see I'm not alone.As usual I love the Owl pic.

Must go for the Bittern at UW.Which hide is best to plonk down in?

midlands birder said...

love the owl photo and the curlew,very good.

the bittern(s) is showing from every moors pool hide with varying regularity,for pics at the moment the north moors and the west hide seems the best bet,but im sure pete will have more help,with his great bittern shots

Pete Walkden said...

Hi Max - as MB says, the main Moors pool is good for views, but the late afternoon in the hide on the North Moors pool has mostly paid dividends for me, when the bird appears out of the reeds across the lake from where you're sat.

Hoping it'll start coming closer over the colder months or when the water levels increase.

Reg Telescope said...

I think the fieldfares are already here, Pete.

I'm pretty sure a couple of flocks have gone over the house in the last week or so.

Andy said...

Where are you finding Little Grump? I need him for the year!