Monday, 31 October 2011


There were two Redshanks, one Little Egret, a couple of Grey Herons, a Common Gull among the usual BH Gulls and a Snipe on the river, as seen from the bucket in the wood this morning. The walk around the sunken marsh produced nothing very special but there were some Fieldfares resting on the wires over the river and a handful of Redwings 'crashed' out of the hawthorns as I walked past. A couple of Skylarks flew over quite high calling as they did so and once again I could hear a Water Rail just a few yards away from me, one day i'll see it even if I have to jump in the marsh after it. Cetti's Warblers and Bullfinches were also heard but not seen, unlike the flock of Long-tailed Tits who passed by quite happy with my presence but no so happy with the Sparrowhawk that passed overhead causing their chatter to change to alarm calls.

The east scrub was uneventful as was Abbey Mead lake where not a single bird was seen on it's surface. There has been a fisherman there with a boat for a few days now and I can only assume that this has spooked our feathered friends. I know we have to share this area now but I think this doesn't bode well for some of the shyer winter species like Goosander, Goldeneye and Smew which I think will not tolerate a boat in their midst, not to mention the Bitterns who should be with us any time now. There were at least eight Shovelers and a Pochard on Johnson's lake but not much else of note, so I made my way to Streamside just in case a Bittern made an appearance. It didn't of course but the three Cormorants and the Grey Heron above were nice to see on the small island nearby.

One of the Cormorants decided to leave in a bit of a hurry, I fired off a few shots but the shutter speed was much too slow in the dull light. But I quite liked the blurred wings and water so i've posted a couple of them anyway.

I returned via the railway crossing where I bumped into Alan Roman who told me he'd just seen the Gt White Egret on the river. He hadn't of course, he was just winding me up, which was a brave thing to do since there was a train coming!! A little further on I ran into Mike Easterbrook and his mate. Mike is the county butterfly recorder I think so it was quite fitting that I should spot a Speckled Wood flying by as we spoke. Quite a late record for this species I think, if it survives tonight of course it could become a November sighting.

I passed the mound on the way back to the small wood and bucket, pausing only to say hello to Dennis and Doreen Capeling who were on the mound having lunch, very civilised. On reaching the wood I saw this lovely little Wren, one of a few seen today, a quick snap and he was gone. Not much else to report from here but I did spot the Snipe pictured below, drifting upstream on the tide on a raft of reeds, clearly stranded and in need of help. As I took this long distance picture a Kingfisher streaked over it's head, if only I could have got that in the picture!


Warren Baker said...

Now if only that Water Rail would be so obliging as to ride by on a raft of reeds!! :-)

Lots going on there though Phil, in comparison to my patch - see you have Sprawks upsetting everything too :-)

Bob Bushell said...

A fantastic blog, I love the picture of the Snipe, it is superb.

Ken. said...

Hi Phil.
Not a bad day down the lakes. Well done with the Snipe photo. It is surprising how many waders are seen hitching a ride on the river on reeds.
I have read and taken photo's like your Cormorant, they are often seen in photographic magazines, they are called 'Motion Blur'.

Alan Pavey said...

Sounds like a nice morning Phil, I haven't seen the wader hitching a lift thing before, quite entertaining :-)