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Friday, 30 November 2012

West Yorks Long Tailed

I had a couple of light fittings to put up this morning and all went without a hitch leaving this afternoon free to visit Pugneys Country Park to year tick the Long Tailed Duck that has been around for a week or more, still present and showing well this afternoon, don't know what has brought it so far inland but incidentally there is an imm/female type at nearby Anglers Country Park as well plus Common Scoter on Wintersett, nothing much else at Pugneys though, a handful of Goldeneye and a couple of Goosander being the best of it although a Kingfisher posed nicely in front of the hide.

initially on the far side near the hide but a bit distant

Kingfisher posed

it gradually moved towards the bottom corner where it was a bit closer but
the by that time the light was fading fast

Evening sky looking towards Emley Moor mast

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Winter grebe

I've a couple of days off this week so I nipped up to Teesside today, spent the morning at Saltholme having a steady wander around in the hope of maybe catching up with Merlin for the year, no such luck, however I timed visiting the main Hide just right as the Black Necked Grebe that has been there a while but not seen this morning had just appeared and was fishing right in front of the hide. After a spot of lunch I had a look from the Phil Stead Hide but there was not a lot happening so I went up to North Gare, I had a look out to sea but there was nothing moving today, just a handful of waders on the beach, I also checked out the Gulls on Seaton Common from that side and the Zinc Works road side as well but I didn’t see anything unusual. I know I had a late lunch but it is astonishing just how quick the light goes in the afternoons at the moment.
not the best of backdrops but the birds don't seem to mind

on the look out

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Lancashire no show

I was out with Andy today and as there was nothing to tempt us in the east we decided to head west and try for the long staying Lesser Yellowlegs and Wood Sandpiper at Aldcliffe Marsh near Lancaster. It rained all the way but eventually cleared as we dropped into Lancaster, we got to Aldcliffe village alright but finding the site where the birds were was something else although we eventually stumbled across it and thankfully were given directions where to best view from. We saw the two immature Scaup from yesterday as we walked out and three Pinkfeet with some Greylags but were dismayed to see the Wood Sand flying off calling loudly as we reached the site then even more dismayed to find there was no sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs neither, oh well you can't win em all. After lunch we cut our losses and drove up to Leighton Moss which was fairly quiet although we saw what would be expected at this time of year, there was also a good show of Raptors with several Buzzards, two Marsh Harriers and a Peregrine about but although there were several Little Egrets there was no sign of the recent Great White, the most notable thing of the day though was the Starling roost, its been many years since I’ve seen one of this magnitude it was really impressive.
Leighton Moss

struck a nice pose just a shame it was so far away

the Peregrine was also distant

a few of these but no Great White

Red Deer Stag

some interesting fungi, Velvet Shanks

a very impressive Starling roost

made some nice patterns

Sunday, 18 November 2012

One Bittern not shy

It was a very frosty but beautiful sunny morning so I headed off to North Duffield Carrs to see if the Bittern found last Thursday was still present, it was and was also showing quite well in the reeds on the left side of the pool, it fished from there for a while before skulking back into the reeds then flying to the top corner of the pool where it was lost to view, it was picked up about an hour later in the reeds along the far side of the flooded area to the left of the pool where it slowly made its way towards Garganey Hide, there was also a good selection of Wildfowl present including 50-60 Whooper Swans plus a Marsh Harrier and a Water Rail that flew across the pool mid morning. I then made the mistake of carrying on to Blacktoft Sands, the reserve was extremely quiet with hardly anything on show apart from several Marsh Harriers, I stuck it out to the roost but that only produced a distant Ringtail Hen and 10 Marsh Harriers plus a single Barn Owl.

in reflective mood

feeding well

disappearing back into the reeds

a good selection of Wildfowl

weren't too happy when the Marsh Harrier came through

relocated in the reeds on the floods to the left of the pool

flying off towards Garganey Hide

Wigeon and Teal at Blacktoft

plus Snipe

and of course the Marsh Harriers