Monday, 25 January 2016

Through the Trees (Part II) - The Handsome Family

WITH FLASHPLAYER IN PLACE WE HAVE NO IDEA WHY
VIDEO CLIPS ARE NOT SHOWING - APOLOGIES.
Dave had already been in the Tern Hide for half an hour before my arrival, so well able to point out what little was of main interest. This included the Slavonian and Black-necked Grebe of my previous visit, but also a gaggle of
GREYLAG GEESE
heard long before entering the hide and absent at the last visit as were
a bunch of very distant Goosander. Also present before were
 PINTAIL
in flight
male PINTAIL sleeping
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male PINTAIL with glimpes of male WIGEON and
female WIGEON
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male PINTAIL encountering female TEAL
 SHOVELER
 with more arriving.
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mostly male SHOVELER with brief female
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male GOLDENEYE (preening)
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male GOLDENEYE, showing early but brief display
along with a trio of aggressive
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POCHARD
With once again not a Gull in sight it was decided to visit the 
Woodland side of the Reserve maybe giving the Gulls 
a bit of time to come in to roost. There we found in quick succession
video 
CHAFFINCH
 Lots of
 most obliging
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SISKIN
 LONG-TAILED TIT
feeding on the ground, which is not unheard of but somewhat unusual
video
to their preferred foraging of dense foliage, and a single
DUNNOCK
Moving on to the Woodland Hide where all but one of the windows
are 'smoked', to prevent the human activity within spooking the feeding
birds, there was no delay in locating c4
video
BRAMBLING
video
the 'northern version of our far more familiar Chaffinch
also seen on these clips.
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GREY SQUIRREL with BLACKBIRDs
While we did stop briefly to admire the
WITCH'S BROOMS
which seemed to be exclusively favouring just 2 of the
SILVER BIRCH
there were now 'hopefully' bigger fish to fry! There was a method to our visit here and in pursuit of these 2 Gulls, both rare visitors to our shores, we had forsaken the possible chances of recording Great White Egret and Bittern, maybe another day?
Back at the Tern hide and amazingly finding a seat at the viewing ports,
Gulls were already flying in to roost. No prizes for guessing who spotted the
 CASPIAN GULL
first
 but I did tell Dave right away,
oh that's another 2 feet added to the length of the proboscis!
A 'scarce' vagrant which mostly breeds around the Black and Caspian Sea,
but has a wide distribution across much of Europe, Asia and even North Africa.
video
 A couple more 'grainy' shots from the
 small Canon at 50X zoom.
video
video
video
video
CASPIAN GULL
In quick succession there was an alert that the
RING-BILLED GULL
had also joined the growing throng, but unfortunately twice the distance
of the Caspian, so again we rely on the archive to illustrate this 'scarce'
Gull which hails from the Americas.
On my way back to base a third attempt this year was made for the
FERRUGINOUS DUCK
which for a number of years has over-wintered on Kingfisher Lake,
part of the Blashford chain of redundant gravel pits but only viewable
from Hurst Road a little further south. Another vagrant from
Central Europe which proved to be Third Time Lucky.
(this image is also from the Library for illustration)
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