Sunday, 4 March 2018

More Winter Treats

This snow can hang around as far as I'm concerned. Enthused by the number of birds on the river yesterday evening, I headed back down this morning. My first reward was a reed bunting under the water works. It was my first of the year, which is unusual as they're normally pretty commonplace. It's also probably the last of the common resident birds that I'd failed to see this year, so it's going to be tough going from hereon in. Bring on Spring.

On the corner where I'd seen dunlin yesterday was pretty quiet. Anglers were gathering on the other side of the river for a competition, and they spooked snipe and woodcock as they dragged their tackle along the bank here. I carried on following the river up-stream, hoping to reach the best stretches before the anglers did. On the way I disturbed The Major; a majestic old heron, wonderfully marked that I encounter frequently at the same pond. Most of the heron here are juveniles so this cleanly marked bird stands out a mile.

I relocated the dunlin at the spot I usually find one of my wintering green sandpiper. He hid from me behind a snipe.

As I stood watching the waders, a small group of long-tailed tits surrounded me, allowing some very close views.

The anglers continued to file along the river bank and ahead of me they flushed these wigeon; species number 80 for the year.

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