Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Had a trip down to London at the weekend as the girlfriend needed to visit the Chinese embassy (would you believe the big screen above the desk in the consulate showed pictures of a military parade - missiles, jet fighters, millions of soldiers - I'm not kidding). With the price of train tickets we drove half the way, stopping off at Rutland to break the journey up. Glad we did too, gathered two life birds I was hardly expecting. First was a snoozing Long-eared Owl (#224) by the path to one of the hides. Heard them plenty in Sherwood Forest, the squeaky gate call of the chicks around dusk, first time seeing one though.
The other lifer was a Slavonian Grebe (#225), a full winter plumage bird easy to ID, and actually a nice comparison with a few Black-necked Grebes around. Winter ducks aplenty, some nice Golden Plover in the afternoon sun. Didn't have time to check out the assortment of divers off the dam wall. The Little Egret video comes from Rutland, watch out for a Hitchcokian cameo from a Shoveler near the end.
There was time in the day to take in the London parks when down there. The Grey Herons in Regent's Park always a treat, especially if you have a camera.
Also took in maiden ride on my new bicycle today. Went under a mass of Fieldfare, they sounded like a giant bag of marbles being shaken up.