Wednesday, 17 May 2017

I Got You - Ducks Deluxe

Returning from an unsuccessful search for Nightjar on the Heath, Date - Time - Group 22:30 - 11th May 2017, the wind had just started, at long flippin' last, to veer into the southern quarter, the sky was blanketed by 8 oktas of cloud and the air temperature seemed settled at +12°C, a slight slant on the old song "What a 'Night' for a Daydream"? Then what happened? It started chuckin' it down with rain which would surely dampen the chances of the years first 'heavy haul' from the Moth Traps! Well no, not quite as among a catch of 83 Macros of 22 different Species there were a number of Firsts for the Year led by
THE SNOUT
which immediately took to the wing and was never seen again.
 This was followed by one of the most handsome Insects in the genre
 GOLD SPOT
Also most welcome were
BLOOD-VEIN
 PEPPERED MOTH
 COMMON WAVE
 LIME-SPECK PUG
(what a dandy)
BROWN SILVER-LINE
and a considered rather small
EARLY GREY
(already taken this year)
The rain had thankfully abated by 05:00 but coinciding with the completion
of the traps it started again, the photographs would have to be back-heeled until later.
 With nothing new to report from either the
Irrigation Pond or the Gravel Pit
it was decided to act on information received from the day before 
but that is when both the Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler decided to get vocal.
The latter is a 'scarce' bird here and although both have been in song for a few days now
nothing has been seen of either of them. Maybe we speak too soon as from what has been
(unusually) its deep cover the Sedge took up what was considered a more expected
singing post out in the open. Despite the continuously deteriorating weather this was the first time 
SEDGE WARBLER
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has ever been photographed and videoed within our
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Recording Area
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Still it rained but Longham Lakes called and it had eased off
not a bit by the time of arrival.
Sometimes, it is worth a good soaking if the result is favourable
but before considering such things were we going to head left or right.
It was decided to search the South Lake, the largest of the 2
which at least, should we circumnavigating it, we would get equally wet all over.
Part way round we found, as is usual, a small party of mixed Gulls on the roof of a neighbouring building
which is always too much of a temptation to pass by rain or shine!
 
 juvenile
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, 
sub-adult
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL
 
 and a couple of juvenile HERRING GULL were the order of the day
and c2 images as they wouldn't all put their heads up at the same time.
The family group is among my favourites.
NOT MUCH OF A DAY!
Reaching half way along the southern shore, where there are a couple of
subsidiary ponds, our attention was drawn to a gentle 'grunting' indicating our
target birds as they sprang from the water. We loosed off about 1,000 shots
with this being about the best!
At least it was seen that these were indeed what we were after and noted where they settled.
 Even then these c2
 GARGANEY
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were none too obliging (as this clip shows) with one not showing at all.

However, we had some odds and ends in the archive 
which might make the picture a little clearer.
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The rain stopped at almost the second we reached the 
Strange Rover
but also seemed to coax the usually 'out-of-sight'
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REED WARBLER
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from the depths of the reed bed to be videoed
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another 'first'.
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