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.

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