Friday, January 27, 2017

Diary Update #8 ~ 2017

Friday 27th January... A bitterly cold start as I set off for Eldernell Cambridgeshire this morning in the hope of Short-eared Owls, arriving shortly after 10am.

Cattle Egret ~ Great closeup views!
In my experience of this site I've always found it to be hit and miss regarding Owl activity! For example when Dee and I came here on New Years Eve around midday we we're immediately into no less than four Short-eared Owls! Today, in cold and slightly murky conditions, not one to be found in a two hour stay.

Cattle Egret ~ Didn't seem too bothered by my close proximity! 
That said I think I registered everything else on offer with cracking views of Cattle Egret, along with Ringtail Harrier ♂♀Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Crane's, Whooper Swan's, Little Egret, Snipe and Common Buzzard. A Kingfisher was also performing very well and making use of the lack of ice under the bridge and six Roe Deer were also noted!

'Redhead' Smew at Deeping Lakes!

My next stop was Deeping Lakes SSSI, Red Kite on route, in search of more Owls, this time Long-eared. Having not visited this site before I found it a real pain to locate (or was it my sat~nav?) and even when I did find the place the signage on the reserve was dreadful. However, I did eventually find the bird hide, where recently up to five Long-eared Owls have roosted on the Island opposite. I managed three today but as is so common with roosting Long-ears they were well hidden and there was little activity, save for the odd scratch! Great to see though and although the lake was 90% frozen I also managed drake Mandarin, a year~tick, (18) Goosander, (4) Goldeneye and 'redhead' Smew.

Below is a brief handheld video of todays Cattle Egret at Eldernell!