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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Naked Birder......................

No not that sort of naked, just going out without bins around your neck sort of nakedness !!!!!

A nice bright sunny day so I had a drive towards Linton Pond for the Smew, which this year has chosen to spend some time on these ponds, on the way along stopped to look at the Swans in the field(north of QE11 lake) that the Cranes visited some while ago, got out the car went to raise the bins which is more just a reflex.............but crap left them at home , I have only done it a couple of times but it's very annoying , I had the scope and thought it not worth the drive back so I just scoped everything all day or used the camera to get a better look at stuff, but reality is you need bins.
Anyway scoped the two flocks of Swans first to the east mainly Mute with 2 Whoopers but the other flack much further along the road were all Whoopers 60 (15 Juv) ,no sign of any Bewick's , but I did pick out a Peregrine on the ground with prey , after it finished it waddled around, not sure what was going on it looked rather ungainly but it eventually took off looking rather laboured after its heavy meal and just landed on a nearby pylon , scanning for more Whoopers(as some just over the brow) I also picked up a small raptor on one of those square fence sections they have in the field ( no idea what they are for).the bird was facing me and I thought Merlin,but it was a long way off it just looked like a Merlin , I kept checking it to see if I could make anything positive on it ,but it had gone , only to the next fence block this time sitting side on a fem/juv Merlin, there seemed a few Skylarks around ,the field looked like it would attract flocks of small birds.
Linton picked up the redhead Smew just out from the hide working the edge of ice in the free water always good to see , would be nice for a male, one of the things I noticed immediately "NO GULLS" this was one of my favourite winter haunts checking through the gulls for white wingers,but it seems the closure of the tip has sent them elsewhere ( was talk of a new tip at Darras Hall area :) ?) so checked what was there ate my sarnie and left for cresswel.
Cresswell water level very high it was good to see the Pinkfeet back ,in with the Canadas 9 Brent geese which ended up feeding on the grass, my plan was to go for a walk trying for some Shorelarks etc: but without bins a none starter so I drove along to Bells for the Twite set the scope up just in time for them to drop on the fence, just as well because I could not pick them out on the ground .
Just happened to look along the road to see a herd of cattle and me stopped in the gateway ,luckily they where heading further along but I put the scope away just in case, ( carbon fibres strong but not that strong ) accompanied by a very large Bull,they where heading for the Twite field and from then I did not see them again other than flying around , so I headed home , just as a huge flock of Pinks filled the air , a great afternoons birding !!!!!
A covey of Grey's in the open near Bells
Smew Linton

Goldeneye Cresswell

Twite Bells farm dunes

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