Wednesday, 17 October 2007


Just booked a weekend away in Norfolk for mid-November, staying at a place right on the doorstep of the RSPB's reserve at Snettisham. The B&B was a bit steep, but you gotta do the wader roost sooner or later.

Quiet times otherwise, the ABB events are going nicely at Carsington. The Little Owls failed to show at the weekend, however a Kestrel blessed us with about two hours spent sat on the camera pole in front of the wildlife centre. That meant I could prattle on about how the Kestrel's ability to see ultraviolet light allows them to track the urine scented trails of the small rodents they prey on (more on that here), which seemed to particularly impress the visitors I spoke to.

Bird of the day, or birds shall we say, was the 150+ Pink-feet that flew over around one in the afternoon, heading SE. This is apparently a little late, as the bird club report for September explains, "southward records are usually 2hrs after first light, which is the flight time from the Lancashire feeding grounds of Marshside and Martin Mere. Their northward journey is usually at least 4hrs after first light Jan-Mar, reflecting the hundred miles from Norfolk".

Later still, on the way home the girlfriend and I stopped off for a quick scan of Ogston Reservoir. It was there at 17:35 came a lone grey/brown goose, not a Greylag, another Pinky! Must have been a straggler. Isolated and nervous, it made several low passes over the water though never with the confidence to land, and bizarrely made three attempts to merge with 200 airborne Lapwing, presumably such was the bird's instinct to flock.
Eventually, I lost sight of it as the gloom of the autumn evening set in.

Can hardly wait now for Norfolk, it'll be the same geese, but by the tens of thousands.

ETA: Incidentally, the Gannet mentioned in my last post, the one I missed by half an hour or so at Carsington. I read that on Monday this week a juvenile Gannet (surely the same bird this far inland), was discovered and taken into care in Mansfield, less than a couple of miles from my home. What a tease that bird has been for me!
Good to know it'll be looked after now.

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