Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Tundra Bean Geese at Big Waters

Sunday morning and off for an early start at Big Waters.  At the Car Park 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker were already drumming away and several Long Tailed Tits flitting around.  On the pond were a few Geese but it was still a bit dull to make them out properly as they were right at the West end and as usual my scope was still in the boot of the car.  An amazing amount of 31 Mute Swans and 10 Sygnets seemed to fill the pond.   Off to the 1st hide, picking up scope on the way, and on the first field by the entrance to the reserve 2 Grey Partridge were aimlessly wandering around, even though it was only 7.04am (noticed time on the exif) and the light was still bloody awful I snapped off a couple of shots but they didn't take a blind bit of notice.  Wandered down to the hide and on opening up there were 10 Mute Swans immediately under the window some of which I couldn't have possibly counted previously and they were all "Loved Up" and trying to claim a bit of the bank until another one came charging across the pond straight into the middle of them.  From the hide I could see 2 Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe displaying but nobody was interested, 8 Male and 5 Female Tufted Ducks, 5 Male and 8 Female Goldeneye, lots of Wigeon, a few Teal, several Gadwall and quite a few Lapwing resting on the island.  The Greylags could be seen more clearly now and the 2 Barnacles were still there and in amongst them the 2 Whooper Swans just floated past unconscious to the world as usual.  

Swans "Luvving It Up"

Black Headed Gulls and Lapwings taking control of the Island

Greylags, Barnacles and a few of the Goldeneye, note Mute Swan in
the reeds, the problem is that you cant do a proper count from one
spot, you have to go to a minimum of 3 places and Graeme wont
let you do that cause you dont have them under constant observation

Up to the main hide, catching view of a pair of Bullfinches and a Treecreeper on the way, where John B was laying out a full 5 course meal for the "Little Birdies" hoping to attract the elusive Brambling (didn't appear as usual) so hunkered down to see what else I could see and picking up the book I noticed that Keith B had wrote Pintail down for yesterday.  Within a couple of minutes and help it   was seen in the far North West corner (thats how I had missed it from the other hide (LOL)).  

Very bad Record Shot of Pintail

Also found a couple of Pochard.  I then headed off to meet Keith B for a little walk round as Ian D was off "Rabbit Feeding!" therefore Alan J's Limo was not available to pick him up at 09.30.  Keith and I headed off and immediately spotted 100+ Lapwings but not a great lot else as several people and their canine friends had been around.  One came and did its business right behind us and its owner on a bike just cycled past (ignorant bastard).  Spotted 3 Song Thrushes in one of the fields feeding away on the ground with a few Corvids.  Round to the fields and overhead came the Geese and sure enough the ones I was looking for were with a small bunch of 10 or so Greylags, Tundra Bean Goose, so off we went to where they landed and some great views were had.

Back round to the hides to see Alan J, who had been joined by his holiday pal, Alan F,  who had pulled himself out of bed by now (Life must be hard now he has dedicated himself to Bird Watching Full Time) and I had to carry a bucket of Fat Balls myself to the hide (bloody hell are they heavy after a 100m or so).  Wheres a young, fit, strong 50+ yr old guy when you need one, all I had was Keith B.

Lots of chat occurred and a little Birdwatching was done but approx 15+ Snipe did a lot of flying into and out of the Reeds, great to watch and eventually the Whoopers did decide to lift their heads for a few minutes, no wonder they dont have to feed a lot to build their energy up, they sleep for ages.  During the day I also added Oystercatcher, Curlew and Skylark to the Patch list

Time to go and get some food said I, so I couldn't go with them to see the Bean Geese again, then I would pop to Gosforth.
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