Saturday, 26 September 2015

Day of the Ducks!

I decided to take a different approach to gaining access to The Farm today under the cover of darkness and wearing full regalia I was dropped onto Mount Beddington. I kept low for a while to surface at around 10am having circulated Pyros find a Cetti’s Warbler near the hide. This bird did call infrequently during the day.

The number of duck on the lakes has been slowly increasing throughout the month. The North Lakes water level is particularly high following recent rain. This has flooded the islands presenting ideal habitat for the ducks.

The Garganey was still taking advantage of these conditions but was on the West side of the lake by Elands Island this morning. A small group of Pochard were also patrolling here.

Tufted duck were scattered all over the lake some preferring the deep channel in front of the Sand Martin bank to feed. A couple of birds did seem a bit tamer than the rest perhaps they were Beddington park birds on a day trip. They must have been disappointed at our lack of supply of bread!

The Shoveler were however very wary of our presence remaining within the confines of the island edges. Many of these birds were still in their eclipse plumage.

The Teal have made their home in the now flooded channel in the centre of the largest of the Islands. Their blissful existence was infrequently disturbed by a Sparrowhawk which had the flock of around 40 birds dispersing in all directions!

The family party of Mute Swan were causing their own form of havoc on the lake busy practicing their flight techniques. They appear to have mastered the take off and flight but the landing stage had every inhabitant on the lake diving for cover.

Wigeon, Mallard and a mobile group of Gadwall were to complete the line up of ducks on the lake. Three Buzzard was the highest count in the sky at one time.

I settled in for the afternoon  on top of the Sand Martin bank with the NE to E wind picking up and a band of cloud moving in. The weather looked promising but would it produce a rarity! I was caught by surprise by a more regular visitor to the Farm, a pair of Little Egret that appeared from the SW and after a lap of the lake departed NW. A lone Egret was to make up the count some time later.

I left at 1700hrs with the taste of the tip on me but it was an enjoyable day! There are more E winds tomorrow. Who knows what that will bring!

Other sightings today:- Hobby, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 2 Kestrel, 7 Buzzard, 3 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 3 Stonechat, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Swallow

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