Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Grey Wagtail - A Patch Year Tick

Sunday and up to Big Waters eager for a walk as the weather promised to be better.  Graeme joined me in the 1st hide after about 10 mins to do his Webs Count before heading of on a Twitch to Durham.  The water had risen dramatically overnight and the normal photo I take of the island with its inhabitants was very different today.

Early on this is all that was viewable of the island and not much on there

A few hours later there was a few more birds but not more island

I then headed off to meet Alan J and Ian for our walk and we were joined after 30mins by Keith.
It was quite a good walk with good light but the wind was still a bit of a bother at times but it was great not to be bothered by rain.  There was plenty to see including Alan making a prediction that we might see a Grey Wagtail but might just miss it because of our walks timing (yeah, thats a way to make a prediction you might see it or you might not) but it was unbelievable as he altered our normal walk pattern by a few yards and then called us over and sure enough there was a Grey Wagtail feeding, also accompanied by a Pied.  A Patch Year Tick and a month tick for the Pied which are not as frequent visitors as when I first started walking round.

Grey Wagtail - not an uncommon bird around the County but definitely a great patch tick
at Big Waters

Also saw several Skylarks, heard a couple of Meadow Pipits (actually Alan draws attention to them as 2 slightly deaf pillocks with him can't hear bugger all - one of the reasons maybe for no Gropper last year).  Saw at least 4 Kestrels (or just one several times if Graeme was there :)).  Also heard a single peep from an Oystercatcher but didn't expect it to drop in due to lack of an island (see pics above).  A couple of Buzzards drifting over the hide gave some great views also

Some canny views today as mentioned above

Another good spot was a Willow Tit which we all heard in a place I had never seen/heard one before.  Also a nice shot of "The Archway" as I call it which I always take pictures of every time we pass now but this time Alan said to get someone in to give it a bit of perspective.

Back at the hides there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing  of the birds which we normally associate with the Otters but never actually saw one apart from a quick glimpse of one when I first arrived this morning but it gives us the opportunities for yet more bad flight shots (honest, I will get better)

Fossy, count them, you owe me one
 The Wigeon count had decreased slightly
 The Greylag count had decreased slightly also
 If you counted the birds in the picture 3 above you will know how many were there today

Finally my last pictures which were actually the 1st one of the day and the 1st one I took as I joined Alan and Ian.  This one I was showing to Alan which I had taken as I got out of the car and noticed 3 birds flying high but as my bins were still in the bag I just took a couple of shots then grabbed my bins but only saw dots in the distance but the way they flew gave me an impression of what they were.  If you have an idea post a comment or send me an email please (I will clear a couple of hours over the weekend to read all the replies)

As I was showing Alan this pic on the camera a Kestrel flew towards us so I grabbed the camera back as I had noticed a slight bulge beneath it and took the following 2 photographs which show it carrying a kill somewhere (usual standard of photography applies)

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