Wednesday 16 March 2016

Between the seasons

Lade - cold, dry, cloudy, ne 5 - Technically its spring, but you wouldn't think so what with the blasting north-easterly continuing to rasp the shingle hinterland. Mid-March is one of the quieter periods of the birding year, an between-the-season time when most of the winter visitors have departed and before the spring migration really gets going. These past three mornings the local patch has been hard going with few passerines noted due to the strong wind and the only new additions on north lake being a pair of Shelducks. 
  Monday`s excitement came when a Badger ambling beside south lake, unusually in broad daylight, attracted the attention of a dog-walker`s Jack Russell which then promptly went to ground in hot pursuit. Despite the owners protestations Jack was not going to come out. Anyhow, being as the sett was in shingle I soon excavated a large hole at one of the entrances and managed to drag Jack out by the tail. He wasn't best pleased though and after having a go at me, then set about Barney before the owner eventually dragged him clear with Barney attached to his flanks!
RSPB - Having spent the morning in the kitchen making pies for forthcoming bird tours we were due a walk out, so spent the afternoon on a wind-blown bird reserve. From the causeway road the two species of scarce grebes were still on New Diggings, while 6 Shelducks, 5 Goldeneyes and a Smew were present on ARC.
  A walk from Boulderwall to Dengemarsh produced 100 Wigeon, 10 Shelducks, 2 Great White Egrets and 3 Marsh Harriers amongst the usual common wildfowl, but I couldn`t find any sign of yesterdays Garganey. On Burrowes a Med Gull and Smew were on the lake and whilst nattering in the visitors centre we had cracking views of a male Peregrine flying low over the water.

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