Sunday and once again an early start, arriving at Big Waters at 06:32, and finding Charlie's car already in the Car Park. 5 minutes in the car to finish off my Latte and scan the area, well the 50 or so metres I could see through the fog. The first thing that caught my eye was a fox being a bit furtive (when are they not) in the field next to the car par. Managed to get a shot, heavily cropped, sharpened, brightened,contrasted, shadow protection etc etc but the high ISO didn't help either and its still crap (blame the bloody fog)
Headed down the track and this Blackbird was sitting on a post with the biggest mouthful of god knows what stuff and didn't bother to move as I walked past it, mind you if I was carrying that amount in comparison to my size in my mouth (its nearly as big as a Big Mac)I would be stopping every step for a rest.
I stopped in the 1st hide and the pond was absolutely still, no wind for the first time for ages but could have done with some for a change to blow the mist away which was leaving a film of dew on everything, including myself and the camera. The water level had rose between 9inches and a foot after the heavy rain on Saturday. A Grey Heron was the first thing to drop in and just stayed on the perch for 20mins before flying off, just as Charlie who had seen it from the first hide had gathered up his gear and came down to get a few atmospheric shots of it in the mist (its always the case). I managed a couple though.
I have hundreds of shots similar to the above, with various combinations of birds, which is probably my favourite place to take pics in the North East. On to the main hide and I was surprised to see that the Coot Nest was still "floating" with running repairs being done for most of the time I was there.
Although one of the pair eventually settled down to "Sit" (Sleep).
The Feeding Station was a bit quiet although a Greater Spotted Woodpecker and a Willow Tit kept me watching for quite a while although the fog/mist was getting a lot thicker and everything you touched seemed to have a thicker film of what seemed like water now instead of dew.
and here is a short video of the above, just click on the orange link below
Press Here For The Woodpecker Video
By now it was time for the walk although we were a couple of people short, The Auditor hadn't turned up, he was probably off somewhere checking that birds were being attributed to the right patch and Manic Meanderings was off "Sunning" himself in the Orkeys (I Think). Keith and I waited patiently at the designated meeting spot (under the clock, wearing carnations in our buttonholes in order to be recognised) but only AJJ arrived slightly later than normal and informed us that Ian would be slightly late and probably catch up as he had arranged a blind date with a member of the "4th Emergency Service" in the Car Park. We then set off at an extremely slow pace as the mist just makes one want to saunter along. The Nest near the A1 seemed to be abandoned but we later found out that the eggs had hatched the previous day two little balls of black fluff had been seen happily following their parents. We then went to check for Grey Wagtails, AJJ informing us that they had done this every day since last Sunday but to no avail, but guess what, there wasn't any there today either although there was a Common Tern which was sitting on the "Big Water Platform" warning other approaching Terns of its presence.
There was a new herd of cattle in the West Field next to the track leading up to the Cycle Path which the Jackdaws (Alan informed me that they were Jackdaws so I could attribute birds with their right name (Bitch) after my slight error in my last post) were taking advantage of . Some of them seemed to be taking patches of hair off the cows although others seemed to be feeding
Any space for a little un on there ?
Ian caught us back up just before we reached the Horse Field and told us that the "4th Emergency Service" had sorted him out very quickly. We decided to do the short walk in the hope of seeing something different but unfortunately not. We arrived back at the 1st hide with a total of 10 Common Terns seen, instead of the normal 3-5 that are usually around. A couple of them also decided to make their friendship a bit more permanent.
Cant understand why the one on the right is getting excited also
Finally, there were quite a lot of Hirundines around with the Swallows favouring this bit of wire for a
Yet again another canny walk round with great banter and the odd bird or two seen and well done to AJJ for adding another 2 Species to the Big Waters List today (Monday).