Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Cresswell on Sunday

Sunday we had planned to nip up to Scotland but the beloved was feeling a bit off so I was forced to go Bird Watching alone.  Headed for Cresswell and on the way to the hide spotted a Little Owl flitting around and a pair of Goosander.  The light was rather good as you can see from the pic below but the photographer was not as when I got home and looked at my pics and was puzzled till I checked the settings and found I had set everything to "Sharp"

I eventually spotted the bird I had come to see, the Long-Tailed Duck and unbelievably it came quite close to the hide giving some lovely views.

Then from out of nowhere Andy Mc shouted Bittern which was flying "left to right" and I managed to get off a couple of quick shots.  15mins later I spotted it flying over the reeds again just changing position as though something had upset it.  How come all the reports I read are of it flying Left to Right, West to East, nobody ever sees it going the other way (must wait till all the birders have left then sneak across in the dark)

I was amazed at the number of Snipe that were on the pond and their continual movement, at one stage I  counted 60 in front of the hide.  Note the one perching on the stick (not the Lapwing) in the pics below. 

Another highlight of the day was my first sight, for a while, of the Barn Owl which had obviously been hunting behind us as the birds on the pond were quite skittish, mind you as a Peregrine flew over as well you cant blame them for being skittish.  It then flew right over the hide, settled on a post on the West Field line then managed to catch something, then was mobbed by Gulls and Crows and promptly skeddaddled to its "pied a terre"

We also had some great views of at least 3 Stonechats flying around in the reeds immediately in front of us and a Scaup which put in a late appearance.  Other birds seen were 8 Hoopers flying NtoS, several Goldeneyes, Shoveller, quite a few Dunlins and Golden Plover and all the normal suspects with the inevitable hundreds of Lapwings.  Then I decided to head up to Alnwick for a view of the Great White Egret, nice drive up there but when I got there (Vee following) we were too late it had vanished and despite a search by several birders I dont think it has been seen since about an hour before we got there.
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