Saturday 26 Sep, decided to head South and check out the Bishop Middleham and associated places after reading a nice blurb we found in Derwent Reservoir Hide. We visited the farm (famous for the Bee-eaters a few years ago) and there was quite a lot to see including the Bison, Rhea, Elk and the Deer. There was quite a lot of Birds (see below) around also including quite a lot of Pied Wagtails, Robins and a flock of Corn Buntings which were very difficult to get a photo of due to the public (and the wife) getting friendly with the deer and elk.
We moved onto Castle Lake and arriving at the hide found that you needed a key (the leaflet I had picked up didnt tell me that). Fortunately there were 2 lads in there who let us in and I saw my first Pectoral Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank, thanks lads.
Sunday it was up at the crack of dawn (actually about 2hrs before) quick breakfast then off to Holy Island where we planned to stay over the high tide hoping there would not be so many people wandering around. We had a pleasant 4hrs walking about and it was very peaceful and the majority of people we bumped into were all carrying Bins or Scopes. Suffice to say that next time we go it will be over the high water also. A couple of pics from our visit:
I originally thought it was a Goosander then decided on a Merganser due to the habitat but when I emailed one of my "mentors" he told me never to discount the habitat and that it was a Goosander. Actually when I first saw it, it was swimming around with a bunch of female Eiders and only popped out of the water a while later, I assumed it was an Eider from a distance cos of the flashes of white and it still wasnt very bright. Then it came out of the water and I started thinking of my crap bird recognition skills so took a couple of pics and eventually got the book out on Wednesday night.
Saw this lovely Song Thrush and like a complete burk watched it for a while hoping for it to sing but when I was talking to another birder he said that they didnt really sing this time of year and if I had heard anything it would probably have been a mistle thrush. Walked away with tail between legs.
I had tried to get pictures of the Godwits in the harbour last time I was there and found it impossible as people were trampling all over the place but now they just wandered about and even when I got too close they returned after 5mins of sitting still.
Well I had to go and look at the Glossy Ibis on Tuesday and boy was I impressed even though it was very muggy and could have done with a bit more sunlight. Saw loads of photos around so tried to make mine different so you could guess where the Glossy Ibis was. I went back yesterday for another look as the weather was much better, got some better pics but still like my one above. I was puzzled also as to why all the cattle had been removed from the area round the pond and it looks like the gate had been padlocked. The Glossy Ibis obvisouly wasnt phased by their presence so why?????. Popped up to Big Waters afterwards and Geoff was there so knowing his luck for attracting birds my heart sank but how wrong was I. Onto the lake came another 8 Adult Swans and 4 Sygnets which then provoked the resident female into some mad careering about chasing them. Geoff and myself were absolutely fascinated although most of the action was a bit out of the range of my 200m I know he got some good shots with his super duper lens so will try to cadge a couple of him (just for myself actually to remind me of a great hours bird watching)
P.S. Sorry Alan, would have entered it into the book but there was no pens and we didnt have any either (will do a belated entry tomorrow)