Thursday, 29 March 2012

South Bank Sun

Yesterday I finished my monthly low-tide counts with a sojourn to the south bank of the Humber. It was scorchio with 23 degrees registering on my car thermometer. A mid afternoon start at Barrow Haven saw 3 Chiffchaff to greet me from the car door. These were the first of 18 that I noted across the couple of hours that I was out. A sprinkling of Lapwing were notable as were a few pairs of Shelduck. Little was on any of the lagoons behind the bank but on heading back after finishing up a Short-eared Owl appeared hunting the thin strip of saltmarsh. I watched the owl for about ten minutes as I wandered up the floodbank. I have seen SEOs hunting in the day but never in bright, strong sun before. Certainly a pleasant surprise.

Humber Bridge seen from Barrow Haven

The second survey at Barton was a little more mundane with tonnes of Black-headed, Common, Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Little else was seen on the mudflat but I was serenaded by more Chiffchaf plus the odd Bullfinch and Reed Bunting. I thought I heard a sub-singing Cetti's Warbler briefly at one point but it could equally have been a Wren in the reeds, so brief was the snatch of song. I was getting hot and tired when I noticed a decent group of Aythya ducks on a water skiing pit. 4 or 5 pairs of Pochard were farting about in the reeds to hold my attention when two bigger ducks surfaced. A 1st winter drake Scaup and an adult female. These birds weren't particularly playing ball but patience yielded decent enough views. Happy days. And that was it... Im ringing on Saturday so hopefully I can get a few decent photos and see some migrants.

Watersports Pits, Barton-upon-Humber. The Scaup were on the back pit in the photo

No comments:

How brains and birds become mutually exclusive