Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hit and Miss!

It's been a strange few days with a few hits and plenty of misses. On Monday Jim Rushforth asked if I'd like to accompany him on a drive across into Nottinghamshire to take a look at a Pied Wheatear, which had been reported as showing well at Collingham Pits. As we were heading that way anyway, we were also going to seek out the long staying Glossy Ibis at Lowdham.

Unfortunately on arrival at Collingham mid morning, on a horrible, dank and rainy day, we were reliably informed that the bird had not been sighted. Despite the lack of Wheatear we still enjoyed an hour or two at the pits, constantly scanning for the bird and recording a decent variety of birds which included: Red-crested Pochard, Pintail, Pochard, Redshank, Green Sandpiper and Little Egret.

Glossy Ibis - Record shot in very poor conditions!
Our second target bird, Glossy Ibis, turned out to be an incredibly easy find. As we drove past the reported location, a field next to the Peugeot garage at Lowdham, the bird was happily feeding away and easily visible from the car as we drove past. Fascinating to find such an amazing bird feeding alongside a busy main road, right alongside a garage and small housing estate.

Today's usual visit to Brandon Marsh turned out to be a frustrating affair, with any birds of note staying one step ahead of me. Probably due to my late arrival (9am) but I managed to miss out on a Dunlin on East Marsh Pool, Stonechat on Newlands reedbed and not one but two Woodcock, inadvertently flushed by Martin Durkin, who was a half hour ahead of me and taking my normal route around the farm field area.

Song Thrush - Lots of Thrushes on the reserve!
Even with my disappointments it wasn't a bad morning all round, East Marsh Pool held of note: (2) ♀Goldeneye, (2) Pochard, (2) Little Grebe, (50+) Golden Plover and a single Yellow-legged Gull. The rest of my tour recorded various numbers of Redwing, Fieldfare, Lesser Redpoll and Siskin, plus (1) Green Sandpiper, (2) Snipe, (2) Song Thrush, (9) Skylark over, (2) Goldcrest, (2) Meadow Pipit, (2) Treecreeper, (2) Coal Tit, (3) Pied Wagtail, (3) Bullfinch, (3) Great-spotted Woodpecker, (2) Green Woodpecker (4) Buzzard, and single Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Nuthatch and Kingfisher.

Surprise of the day was a single Butterfly, (possibly Small Tortoiseshell), which shot past the big hide while Jim, Derek and I were having lunch!