|SOME SNIPE FROM BUCKET WOOD|
In my last post I mentioned the large influx of Snipe along the river at Bucket Wood. Here's a picture of some of the thirty or so birds that I could see at the time. I subsequently heard a report of somebody else seeing approximately fifty fly from the river at high tide the following day. I do wonder if these might be birds that were heading West away from the heavy snow across much of Europe at the time.
|DRAKE RING-NECKED DUCK|
I managed to locate the long staying Ring-necked Duck on Abbey Mead lake on 14th January. As ever it stayed well out of range for a decent picture so this one will have to suffice for now. This bird has been around since Glenn found it on 19th December, long may it last. I bumped into Alan Roman on the same day and while we watched in vain for the Hen Harrier to reappear we were treated to a fly past from a Marsh Harrier. This was my 66th species at New Hythe this year and was soon followed by a sighting of a Water Rail (67th) in the NW corner of the sunken marsh.
|COMMON SEAL AND FLOUNDER|
New Hythe called once again on 18th January. Once again I found myself at Bucket Wood and once again I failed to find the Hen Harrier. I haven't heard any reports of it now since about 12th January. I hope I get to see it again but if not, well, it was great while it lasted.
My morning wasn't all unproductive though because around midday as the tide was falling, I spotted a huge bow wave travelling fast along the side of the reedbed upstream from the wood. I knew straight away that it was a Common Seal chasing fish. I watched it patrol along the same stretch a few times before surfacing with a decent sized Flounder.
Luckily it decided to eat it there and then and although fairly distant I was able to get a few pictures while hiding behind the reeds. They're easily spooked and if they see you they dive and disappear downstream. Last time I saw this happen I was with Terry Laws when a seal caught a large Mullet just opposite Bucket Wood. I hadn't got my camera with me that day. Terry had. I wasn't happy.
Also on the river that day were three Redshank, two Green Sandpipers, Water Rail and lots of Snipe and Teal.