Saturday, 8 May 2010

What A Windy Day

0625 arrived at Arcot and was suprised to find a Shelduck fly up as I walked towards the pond, first time I recollect seeing one there.  Not much on the pond apart from a couple of Mute Swan, 1 male Shoveller a handful of Mallard and a couple of Canada Geese.  Walking round managed to see a couple of Sedge Warblers, Willow Warblers, Chiff Chaff, Reed Bunting and a Whitethroat.  I only heard one Grasshopper Warbler but didnt manage to see it.  A couple of Reed Buntings decided to do their own minature version of  "Rumble in the Jungle":
After about 30secs of mayhem they called it a day and flew off in opposite directions.   I also observed this Meadow Pipit several times during my visit carrying nesting material back and forth, landing on the same bush then flying off quite a distance and dissappearing only to return to the bush a few minutes later with some more material:
Then went up to Big Waters for a quick visit to Big Waters arriving at 0755 and immediately saw a flock of gulls mobbing something, closer exmination showed an Otter trying to eat a fish on the surface.  After about 5 mins the Otter vanished into the reeds up near the hide and the Gulls dispersed.  Also on the lake were a few Common Terns just resting down the South end whilst the wind was whistling across from the North:
With the wind howling across the lake it tended to slow the odd bird up that took to the air which enable me to get a couple of sharper pictures than normal as the birds attempted to fly overhead:
Nipped over to Prestwick Carrs where I bumped into Segedunum Warbler, unfortunately neither of us bumped into the Tawny Owl although as there was a lot of shooting in the range behind its roosting area it might have put it off for the day.  Saw various Warblers and watched a Kestrel hunting over the fens and caught a glimpse of a Yellow Wagtail in the Horse Field just before the Sentry Box.  On my way out I spotted the Ring Necked Parakeet sitting it its window which everyone else seemed to have seen (except me) it flew off before I could get the obligatory window shot but when I followed it I came across an area which was filled with Swifts, Swallows and Sand Martens (so another 30 mins were spent just watching them fly around or taking a break on the fences):

After that a quick zip down the A1 to see if I could catch the Wood Sandpiper in Lamesley but failed miserable although I did spent a couple of hours in the hide (out of the wind) and saw quite a few birds including Lapwing, Redshank, a couple of stunning Mistle Thrush, a few Linnet, a solitary Pinkfoot with a bunch of Greylags, Sand and House Marten with quite a few Swallows, several Meadow Mippit, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, a couple of Snipe that were out in the open and a lovely Curlew.

Great afternoon there especially with the 4 or 5 others, who were also looking for the Wood Sandpiper, and the chatter that we had.
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