Saturday, 17 December 2011

Ghosts

Another photo-less post I'm afraid dear reader. Sadly the perpetual drizzle has encouraged me to leave the camera in the car when I have been out and about. Yesterday was cold, damp and precipitous but this didnt lead to me being downhearted as the site on the humber produced the goods a couple of weeks ago.

I got stuck straight in walking the floodbank and doing my counts. Good numbers of Knot and Dunlin with plenty of Bar-tailed Godwits and Grey & Golden Plover. In the early morning light, Little Egrets left their overnight roosts in small numbers. It was overcast and the thermometer nudged above freezing topping out at a tropical 2 degrees.

Then BLAMMO. In my second count sector I had a male Hen Harrier flying round me and a female Merlin flushed from the marsh. The Hen Harrier continued to show down to less than 20 metres as it hunted actively. It was then joined by a ringtail and these birds hunted in tandem over the saltmarsh, flushing another/the same female Merlin. As if this wasnt enough, a female Sparrowhawk made a raid on the waders, failing on this occasion. A male Kestrel was looking for small furry things but not observed to catch successfully.

The rest of the survey was less interesting as the rain became horizontal but it was corking to be out and about. The week coming I am down in Suffolk working so hopefully there will be plenty to post about and even some photos.

On thursday I was working at the desk at home and ventured away a couple of times to the village garage (where fortunately my car was passing its MOT). In the morning a flyover Crossbill was a complete surprise and later on a skein of 120 Pink-footed Goose went over south in the twilight.

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How brains and birds become mutually exclusive