Thursday, 1 March 2018

Wisps of Snipe

Lade - very cold, overcast, E 6 - Another savage morning of weather. While we`ve missed the heavy snow down here, and look likely too if the forecast is accurate, it is as usual the east wind that has been the overriding factor. I cannot remember feeling so cold, maybe its my age...
  Anyhow, we ventured out for three hours around the patch where the weather is starting to have an effect on the birds. Small wisps of Snipe broke cover from dry scrub and around the lake margins, presumably due to their normal feeding grounds on wet fields being frozen solid. A few Golden Plovers and Lapwings drifted over, while the Curlew flock roosted on the Desert by Mockmill sewer. Blackbirds and Moorhens were also around the margins and took no notice of us as they scratched away at the frozen earth searching for food. There are always winners though and a Kestrel was enjoying what looked like a Dunnock or Robin for breakfast.

                                Barney, oblivious to the "Beast from the East"                               

                                Jackdaws taking cover

                                Lade `mirrors` in the ice

About a quarter of south lake was iced over pushing most of the wildfowl onto north lake which seemed largely unaffected. Quite a few ducks had departed though and I could find no sign of the Long-tailed Ducks or Goldeneyes. Walking along the causeway and around to the swing bridge I noticed that the RSPB work party had done a good job on cutting back the willows and blocking off access points into the willow swamp used by fisherman.

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