Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Far Ings 24-3-14

With everything done that I needed to do and wasted the morning I thought that I wouldn't waste the afternoon in glorious sun,and thought that I would have a change of scenery and head off up to Far Ings and chowder in search of Wheatear or any other migrants,I reached the far end of chowder about 1.30 and sat on the bank just scanning and listening but no look with Wheatear,after about a hour I headed to the eastern side of chowder just for a quick check and watched 10 Avocet come in,I then made my way along the bank for the new scrapes but nothing on there but had a quick chat with Graham Catley about the Slavonian Grebe and he agreed with me about it being very skittish as he hasn't yet got close enough for a photo which is unusual for this species.
Anyway I carried along the bank and made my way to Reedy hide which I enjoyed sitting and just watching the 2 male Shelduck having it out over the female and a female Goldeneye close in along with some Teal.

With time getting on I decided to go and wait on the bank for the Barn Owl which I did until about
6 ish but it didn't show,but a male Sparrowhawk came along the hotel fence and and had a go at the tit flock that was there but he was unsuccessful and sat on the post for a few seconds before making his way off,a enjoyable afternoon if nothing else.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Barton Pits 21-3-14

Again today seen me back down the local pits for the Slavonian grebe,some people may well ask why do I keep going for this bird well two reasons,firstly it took me such a long time for me to see one !!!
I remember back in the late 80's me and my good old friend Dave Hutton doing a 30 mile round bike ride and dipped one at Kingsbury Water Park in Warwickshire,and on a 24 hour bird race with good friends Mark Maddox and Brian Berry walking half of Titchwell beach after a bird that turned out to be a distant female Common Scoter :) but was a fun weekend.
Secondly This bird is so skittish it is a big challenge to get near enough for a descent photo so to test my fieldcraft,even if any other waterfowl gets spooked it is so alert to what's going on and heads of out to the safety of the middle of the pits.
So I walked my usual way as yesterday we picked up on Sand Martins,I reached the Eastern bank when I seen a large falcon approaching knowing that a possible Gry Falcon is in the area I quickly got the camera off the tripod in readiness,as it got closer I started to get photo's but knew it was a Peregrine Falcon but I wasn't complaining,just glad it came the right side of me so the sun was behind me.

With that gone in to the distance I walked the East bank between the sailing pit and pit 25 and soon as I got about half way there it was sitting in it's favourite spot on pit 25 damn was my thoughts,so I sat and waited while scanning the ducks I managed to pick out 3 Scaup 2 female and 1 male,I suddenly noticed the grebe on the move so got down behind some hawthorn so it wouldn't see me and it started to fish in front of the flooded makeshift hide that someone uses for shooting :( so each time it dived I crept a bit closer until I got in to the hide but it knew some thing was wrong but I managed to get these for my effort.

With this making it way off,I noticed the Scaup had moved a lot closer to the South west corner so remembering what Simon Spavin said to me the other day I just had to try and get at least half descent shots of them,so keeping low I made my way down into the corner trying not to spook anything I managed to get some.

3 Scaup female each side of the male 

With this done I thought to myself the only 1 missing is the Long-tailed duck I hadn't seen it,so I started to walk the south bank of the sailing pit and there it was preening and bathing but wouldn't come close enough for a photo,oh well can't win them all.I headed off back for home through the fishing pits and picked up 4 Sand Martins in the same area as yesterday.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Barton Pits 19-3-14

Today I thought I would head off back down the local pits for another go with the Slavonian Grebe,walking the usual route along the Humber bank looking for any migrants Wheatear mainly.
On reaching the sailing pit I could see a car parked down the eastern end so thought it must be down there,I was greeted by Karen and Simon Spaven and told me the Grebe and Long-tailed duck was there also a pair of Scaup on pit 25 which I only picked up the female,I walked the east bank but everything had been moved,the grebe and LT-Duck was nowhere to be seen so headed back towards my start point,but picked the grebe up along the north bank again so I sat and waited when it suddenly headed out due to a dog running around grrrrrrrrr.
I continued to watch it out in the middle when it made it's way to the south bank and then headed for the west bank which was great I could get the sun behind me.After a further wait it came in so slowly lifting the camera I managed a couple of shots before it headed off along the west bank.

again it came back towards me a bit further out heading for the south bank so I made my way into the corner where I could sit.When I saw something swimming across the water my heart started to race,WOW I thought my first Barton Otter but when it came closer this is what it turned out to be.
A bloody Mink second one in my last two visits,this proceeded to come in just below me and went after a coot but the Slav grebe wasn't hanging around and went off out of harms way.
I decided to head back home but check on the Owls but couldn't see them,and then got talking to the secretary of the fishing club who assured me the box does have a flat roof after I explained about it,and in turn extended my permission to be on the fishery and he also told me a new Owl box is waiting to go up and would I volunteer to help them put it up,of course I agreed to give a hand.

Well I can say lay down a bank with a step sticking in to your back is very uncomfortable !!!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Barton Pits 14-3-14

Today I decided on another crack at the Slavonian Grebe,I soon picked up the female Long-tailed duck close in along the west bank,but carried on along the north bank and picked up the grebe just before the boat house but it kept it's distance and went along the front of the house heading for the east bank,where I waited for the next hour and it started to come in closer fishing so I got down to the waters edge with the steep bank behind me which helped,so I wasn't on the skyline when it popped up within 20 feet of me for a split second when I suddenly heard there it is,not knowing 2 birders behind me but further along started talking loud enough to be heard from the moon,hence no photo's as the grebe headed back out in to the middle so that was that blown for me,I just hate it when birders blame photographers every time for flushing a bird when it's not most of the time.
So if you 2 read this please talk more quietly bird can hear,same with hides there not sound proof !!!
I made my way back along the north bank when a birder stopped and asked me about the grebe so I gladly pointed it out to him and he told me he had seen a Siberian Chiffchaff and listened to it calling at the Carpark by the Humber Bridge viewing area so I shall be checking that out in the morning.
I reached the west bank making my way along and caught back up with the Long-tailed duck but a bit more distant than she was.
With hunger setting in I continued to head home bound calling in through Water's Edge CP,the Cetti's Warbler again singing but not much else around apart from the usual waterfowl,which I sat and watched for a while before heading home.
A nice day considering with the sun out