Saturday, 1 December 2012

Swans, Raptors & Waxwing

Walland Marsh - 1030hrs - Cold, sunny, nw2 - A late start due to B&B guests, but eventually got underway and headed out onto the Marsh to look for the reported Waxwings. En-route the Black-throated Diver was still on New Diggings and an adult male Peregrine flew over the causeway road with prey, heading towards the power station; Kestrel and Marsh Harrier also noted.
A quick stop opposite Midley drying barns and a herd of 120 swans contained 2 Whoopers and at least 18 Bewick`s amongst the Mutes. Hundreds of Fieldfares and Redwings along the lane to the Cheyne Ct triangle where I had distant views of a single Waxwing perched atop a hawthorn with winter thrushes. At least 30 Tree Sparrows in the bushes opposite the farm, plus scores of Chaffinches and a Sparrowhawk over. Whilst gossipping with the locals about cameras at the triangle the 2nd winter male Hen Harrier showed well over the nearby oil-seed rape field. Common Buzzard and Kestrel noted on the drive back to the coast.

                                          Bewick`s Swans & Tree Sparrow, Midley

                                          Barn Owl, RSPB

RSPB - 1500hrs - Another sortie out (while the garden fence posts were setting - I`ll never get that fence repaired at this rate!) to look for the Lesser Whitethroat found earlier by NB et al in front of the visitor centre drew a blank. However, was amply compensated by a showy Barn Owl hunting in the field by the bend on the access road. Barn Owls are a bit like Bitterns, in that it doesn't matter how long you`ve been birding they just cannot be ignored (for proper pics refer to Plodding Birder blog).
A quick look over the road revealed a small flock of Goldcrests on the track to Screen hide, a flyover Great White Egret, a redhead Smew and another Sparrowhawk.
Another decent couple of sessions in the field birdwise, and as always was good to meet up with a few weekend birders and have a natter.

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