Friday, 6 January 2012

The Land of Make Believe - Bucks Fizz

So, I'm finally back in my beloved Dorset and it would seem just in the nick of time. Part of my return plan was to stay over at Parley Court with the family Dampney for just one night, but seems I have arrived in the heart of 'party time' and as most of you know I love to go to ALL of the parties so it looks like something of a longer stay.

With a number of very rare or scarce birds in the county there was only one place to start and that was

Longham Lakes. However, the weather was against any sensible birding with high winds, outbursts of heavy showers

and severely agitated surface water.

This Tufted Duck gives some idea of how disturbed the lakes were,

while this female Goosander

wasn't getting it all her own way either. Soon after taking these shots a redhead (female) Smew was spotted half way across the water with no chance of a photograph, and when the dapper black & white male also appeared there was great frustration that their images could not be captured.

Mute Swans seemed to be fairing a little better, probably due to their bulk, while smaller wildfowl such as

Coot and

Pochard sort some solace and shelter in the lee of the reed-bed. All of this was alright, but I, along with all other 'birders' that I met, were having difficulty finding the object of our desire. Deciding to take something of a break by driving to Blashford again, I found the main road at St Leonards closed by the police due to a fallen tree so thankfully returned to Longham. There in the eye of a continuing gale I found the

Blue-winged Teal*,

not surprisingly in the company of a pair of Shoveler. These were also impossible to photograph so have turned to the archive again for these shots.

This Little Egret flew overhead just before leaving, but a single Grey Wagtail* was a more welcome sight. During the walk I met up with long time birding friends John & Mo Down, plus avid Blog readers Derek & Kay Bull whom I had never met before - very nice to see you all I must say. Now was the time to return to Blashford Lakes, via an alternative route, being met by this

Robin and many of the other small birds the same as yesterday. A Green Woodpecker put in an all too brief appearance just before I entered the North Ivy Hide armed with information received. It was said that the fairly long staying but illusive

Ferruginous Duck* was showing from time to time (the small duck centre shot).

There was just one lady 'birder' in the hide, so you can imagine my delight when I located the duck!

In my determination to get her to see it as well. I briefly took my 'eye off the ball' and lost it completely. Giving some time to relocating it, I was starting to think it may have been a figment of my imagination and wandered off to the South Hide to try my luck.

By the time I returned it had been re-found and my worries were over, but bad light and distance precluded any decent shots.

A feeding Great Crested Grebe was fitting finale to a good day,

Diving Now!

The first of a series of parties is this evening, so I'd better go get my curlers in and leave you with
The Year (January) List now stands at 131

No comments:

Post a Comment