Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sad But True - Metallica

Sadly I have been unable to rectify the matter of enlarging photographs for you viewing, and as a consequence seem to have cocked-up the whole pattern of things. Advice has been received from a number of you but even following precisely some of them only seems to end up in a deeper mire! For now I will work on it in the hope of getting things right and simply blame Google for a poor set-up! 
If there was a thought of coming back to Parley for a rest then it was soon forgotten, as during my absence the annual shoot had taken place and there was much preparation to be done for the oven.
MALLARD that will be reward for getting all the other birds ready!
Another 'string' of Hen PHEASANTS
For us at least 'down south' the milder weather continues as does the setting of Moth Traps on a nightly basis. Not enough to have been reported of late, in fact not a single Insect the night before last, but still time to capture the 3 species required to reach the 200 mark before the season ends.
and maybe one of the DANCE FLIES??
Now, no one said that 'birding' would be easy and during my numerous years 'in the business' there have been a few stumbling blocks. Usually of the 'natural' kind and mostly overcomeable (if indeed that's a word) but today's was man made and if the story is to be believed then of the SADDEST kind. My informant has been updating me on a Ferruginous Duck, an uncommon visitor from mainland Europe, that has been seen from time to time on a section of the Blashford Lakes system which I was not familiar with previously. Kingfisher Lake is found via a footpath at the end of Hurst Road, just north of Ringwood, on the A338.
Walking the first part of the footpath this is what met the eye, a 7 foot high 'chain link' fence behind which someone had erected a close wove net screen.
This continued for some distance all but blocking any sensible view of the lake at all, but things were set to get even worse.
The path was narrow and strewn with slippery root stock,
barely enough space to erect a tripod,
and once the netting was passed dense vegetation then took over.
Add to that a POT FISHERMAN
actively hauling his traps, there seemed little chance of seeing what
had been described as an 'elusive' Duck!
This area of waterways is vast but I don't even remember seeing an angler here let alone the unusual sight of a 'potter'. Nevertheless the bird was seen distantly and given the obstacles seemingly impossible to photograph.
FERRUGINOUS DUCK (archive photo).
That is when I met the lovely 
Keith and his wife Mo, newish to the hobby but dedicating their year to a Nationwide Twitch. The tales of their adventure thus far were exciting, to say the least, with 315 species already in the log, 50 of which were 'lifers' for Mo. It was they who told me of the owner of the lakeside property which is let, mainly to 'birders' and the green sheeting had been erected to discourage other than tenants of the property?
Otherwise, this was a small area of outstanding natural beauty
only a few hundred yards from the arterial road.
The Duck 'in the bag' so to speak and being so close by it was off to
in search of other Wildfowl.
If indeed you are in search of Goosander then what better place to
start than
More familiar territory to me, it is commonplace to stop at these
not knowing what you are likely to find.
Most wild flowers look a little out of place at this time of year, so once again it was down to my friend and mentor John Gifford to ID those above - he writes "This is STINKING MAYWEED, the other two Mayweeds species are summer flowering, 'Stinking' flowers twice a year even though it's an annual, firstly May/June and then  Sept thru Nov".
Entering the hide, the water was covered with birds,
and as I made myself comfortable an estimated 200 GREYLAG GEESE flew in. Exciting telescoping through the 'thousands' of birds just hoping for the less than usual best of which were several
 GOLDENEYE (female)
 and one of c8 male PINTAIL (left) with male POCHARD (lots)
BEST that was until at the 'last knockings' these 3
appeared from behind a shingle spit
with final totals amounting to
c8 GOOSANDER (male)
c3 GOOSANDER (female)
Covering other parts of the reserve
male and female GADWALL,
male (vocal) WIGEON,
and feeding
LITTLE GREBE seen with small fish?
There was an extremely short sighting of the
which has been here for a good while now, but no chance of a
photograph hence this illustration shot from the archive.
From the woodland/reed-bed areas reports told of
Bittern "showing well" but not for me, but close views of
and WATER RAIL made up, in part, for that.
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  1. Well Paul, if I click on the first 7 images of this post they actually enlarge so you must be getting it right now.

  2. Thanks Roy, not like me but in a bit of a hurry this morning (and of course 'getting it RIGHT). Cheers Matey talk soon.