Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Whoopers 1 - Mutes 0

Saturday and a quick trip down to St Marys to see if anything had popped up overnight.  Once again a Redstart was viewable in the gloom, a dozen or so Redwings flew in and landed in the field next to the Curlews.  45 mins hunting around with a couple of others but nothing found apart from a Chiff Chaff so back to Big Waters with the light getting better.  Quick wander round the public end with 6 Mistlethrush sitting in one tree, most I can ever remember seeing together.   A record count, for me, of 29 Magpies, in the field near the entrance to the reserve.  On the pond were loads of Wigeon and Coot which I never got round to counting as the Otter and 2 appearances by a Hen Harrier and a Buzzard overfly kept everything going around like a merry-go-round at a fair.   I then went to the other hide where Alan J, Alan and Ian were sitting watching the Whoopers, with Alan J doing yet another count to see if the figures can be improved.  A bit of a fracas broke out to say the least when a Mute Swan decided to have a go at a Juvenile Whooper with the following results.

The whole family of Whoopers, Mam, Dad and 2 siblings came to the rescue of the beleaguered juvenile
and made mincemeat of the Mute Swan which eventually slunk away with its head held extremely low

After this the family had a little celebration of their own which was commentated on by that star of Radio 4s Saving Species "Alan J"

During the day we we noticed quite a few Red Admirals, Common Darters and Migrant Hawkers showing well in the sunlight and when Graeme B arrived he pointed out that all the Red Admirals were moving N to S as though on a migration.  We had already seen about 7 or 8 but Graeme started from 0 and ended up in the 30s.  On departure from the hide there was a Common Darter sunning itself outside the hide so after a couple of pics I put my hand next to it and it just walked on to it, staying there for a good 30 secs whilst I raised it up in the air to show Maria in the hide.  When it flew off from my hand it landed on my head and stayed there for a short time also.  Unfortunately when it went on my hand it was too close to focus and couldn't quite aim my camera at my head whilst it was on it so you just have to take my word for it.

Once again a super day with super company
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