Monday, 1 October 2007

Another ABB Day

Female Stonechat digi-video-scoped by the girlfriend.
Another briefer video.

Another fine day at Carsington, really fine actually. Is it my imagination or does weather that good normally lead to a scarcity of top birds?
The Little Owls showed for much of the ABB event, a Red-crested Pochard knocked around, beyond that Snipe were the best of it. Fortunately the bird club recently did a count and I could prattle on about the big birdtastic number of Coots (1500+ is always going to be impressive) and where they came from .

Earlier in the morning the cooler-than-cool Severn Trent rangers gave us volunteers a boat ride around the reservoir. You get a different impression of the place from the water and it was interesting to learn new things. For example, I hadn't really considered the role big reservoirs can play in flood defence, and thanks to the extensive weed and invasive non-native (but otherwise benign) mussels, the water is crystal clear!
From the boat we picked up juvenile Water Rail at the Northern tip of the reservoir, the bird bathing in shallows nearby the nascent reedbed. Now there's a big thumbs up from the avifauna for the site management if ever there was one. Also a Peregrine powered low over the water from the islands in the front of the Wildlife Centre and they are always ALWAYS enigmatic birds.

Finally, at the end of the day a quick half hour to ourselves found a Stonechat in front of the Paul Stanley Hide. It had been mis-identified as a Spotted Flycatcher by the folks already there, which I can understand as I watched it chasing flying insects from a perch atop a bush. Happily I could tell them that if anything, Stonechat are a rarer sight at Carsington as they don't breed here.

All in all, a good weekend had.

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