Sunday, 16 February 2014

Weekend at Beddington Farm!

My weekend off started with more grim weather rain and SE winds. I had gone to the Farm fully prepared and found a sheltered spot near the Sand Martin bank. I pitched my brolly and started working my way through the mass of gulls that were resting on the side of the mound closest to the tip.

I do not consider myself an expert on Gulls but you can’t go to the Farm and not look at them. They are everywhere on site! My plan with the gulls is to photograph any unusual birds and look at the photos at home and compare features using the Helm book of Gulls of Europe, Asia and N America by Olsen and Larsson. Pete Alfrey is another good option to help identify this tricky group of birds.
(Mediterranean Gull)
After several hours of scanning I could only find a Mediterranean Gull which was successfully digiscoped and a white Herring Gull which could easily be mistaken for an Iceland gull!
The water levels are still high with parts of the permissible footpath blocked by flood water. Shoveler, and Water Rail have been reported from along the path!! There are a lot of ducks taking advantage of these conditions.

Today a few of the Beddington faithful gathered once again with the prospect of a rarity in their minds. The skies were relatively clear the wind was moderate which always presents the possibility of raptors passing through. There were enough Gulls and Corvids loafing around on site to act as an early warning system for any incoming raptor.
(Common Buzzard)
Two Buzzard were seen during the early part of the afternoon. Dodge compared photos of both and confirmed they were indeed different birds. 
(Great Crested Grebe)
A Great Crested Grebe a scarce bird at the Farm was also present on the North lake today. 
(Common Shelduck)
Four Shelduck appeared on the North lake the female seemed to be attracting too much attention from the males and scuttled off.
(El Zorro RIP!)
On returning home I noticed an unusual visitor to my garden. El Zorro hobbled in collapsed and just as quickly passed away! Not the best end to the day but these events did not seem to bother the birds on the feeders!

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