Sunday, 2 July 2017

Sitting and staring at Blacktoft

I did not expect to have any spare time today, but as usual plans change and by 1pm I was in the car park at Blacktoft. After a chat with Alex and Abi in reception I walked to Ousefleet hide where I ate my lunch.
 Although there is some water on this part of the reserve the only wildlife I could see was a hare. However it was always hidden by at least several pieces of grass so I was unable to get a perfect shot.

I only got this shot after waiting for about 30 minutes. Several other birders came and only stayed a few minutes, so my sitting and waiting and staring paid off. Dragonflies were on the wing.

A butterfly settled for a minute.
Carrion crows, black headed gulls, wood pigeons and swallows also flew past hide and just as I was about to leave a spoonbill flew overhead.
Marshland was my next stop where little grebes were busy feeding along with their two young.
Again the vegetation got in the way. A little egret had caught a fish.
Bearded tits could be seen feeding on the mud at the bottom of the reeds, lets hope that they are still about for next weeks walks! Lapwings, spotted redshank, redshank and green sandpiper were also feeding along the edge of the reed.
Xerox and first hide did not hold many birds and Townend had a cormorant drying its wings.
Singleton had mallard, teal, shoveler, gadwall, wigeon, mute swan, great crested grebe on offer. To the right of the hide, reed bunting, whitethroat, reed and sedge warbler were flying in and out of the vegetation. There was a steady stream of curlew flying west, some of them were calling, in the space of about 30 minutes I counted 23 birds, are they spending tonight in Morecambe Bay!
 A barn owl was flying along the long hedge but spent most of the time on the other side of the hedge. Then suddenly it appeared in front of the hide and caught me unawares.
Two other birders in the hide decided to walk back to Marshland hide so that they could see the bird return to its box. I decided to sit and wait and a few minutes later the owl returned.

Even though I was watching for the bird I still got caught out by its sudden appearance, hence the poor shots.
It was now 8pm and time to go home as the light was beginning to fade over Marshland.

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