Sunday 26 February 2017

Glossy Ibis Ely

First stop this morning was Kiln Lane Ely where we parked up and walked down the lane a few hundred yards to view the flooded fields. The first walk along the footpath failed to locate the Ibis that's chosen to over winter in Cambridgeshire. As I walked back the Jims called to say the target was now in view so I stepped up the pace and quickly got on the bird grabbing a few distant shots.

Glossy Ibis at Ely
Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis and Glossy Lapwing
Glossy buddies
Glossy in flight
Canada Goose
From Ely we drove across to Santon Downham where a walk down the river was the order of the day.
We were searching for Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers and spent the next three hours listening and looking. A group of corvids grabbed my attention and rewarded me with nice views of a young Goshawk as it flew across the river to escape the attentions of the pack. Three Sparrowhawks and a few Buzzards were seen. Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker called and a single drumming of Lesser-spot was heard but we failed to see or hear anything else in the long session. Siskins, Brambling, Nuthatch, Treecreeper were the other birds seen before we left for home.

Year list now 154

Sunday 19 February 2017

More of the stunning Bluethroat

Top bird!

Bluethroat at Willow Tree Fen in Lincolnshire

I took the plunge today and drove the 100 miles to the Willow Tree Fen in Lincolnshire in the hope that the sun would shine and the bird would show. On arrival I parked in the small car park having set the sat nav to postcode  PE11 3JH . At 7am I was sitting on the track watching the reed bed on the opposite side of the track. The mud and flat grass area gave a good clue we were waiting in the right area and within half an hour I spotted the bird feeding on the grass opposite us and quickly got the small gathering on it. The bird flew back into the reeds and didn't come back out for about forty minutes by which time we had been joined by another fifty or so birders.

Bluethroat at Willow Tree Fen in Lincolnshire

This was the pattern of the morning with the bird popping out for a minute or so each hour but when it did come out it really did perform well often coming too close for my 400 lens to hit within the focal length. By the time I left the gathering had risen to over a hundred all enjoying crippling views and with most being well behaved although I have to add most being far too loud!

Meal worms had been put out before I arrived and a couple of birders added to the food bank causing some discussion among those present but nothing too heated. The guy offering to play a tape was shot down though and thankfully the bird didn't have to deal with that as well as a hundred people watching it feed.

Locally I found my first Whooper Swan of the year and five Barn Owls. On the way home I found a single Goshawk and Woodlark in the Brecks.

The Bluethroat is only the second British Winter record so what are you waiting for...get up the road and see the little star.

Year list now 151

A proper little star.
"Showing well"

Sunday 5 February 2017

RIP Tia 2004 - 2017

The Special One

This man's best friend
Loving the snow last year in Scotland
Simply the best!