Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Just the one..........

......but it was the first day of November. I walked up to the Rising Sun yesterday with a target species in mind but was side tracked on arrival by a small flock of Long-tailed Tits. Determined to get a nice image in the lush light i pursued the birds for a good thirty minutes. Either they were on the wrong side with the sun behind, partially hidden by leaves and branches or just kept ahead of me as i followed them along the waggonways. I finally gave up and had no sooner left them that another flock came towards me from the opposite direction. These were in the shade so i moved on to the small ponds at the edge of the plantation. I was hoping for a Common Darter, but i had arrived later than i had planned and although the sun was still putting out a bit of heat you could feel the afternoon chill that you get at this time of year just kicking in. Checked out the timber platforms immediately without success then into the reed bed areas, again nothing about. With the sun low in the sky anything on the wing always catches the eye so i stood for ten minutes, nowt. One last chance, check out the trunks of the trees and eventually the one and only dragon tucked away but with the beautiful sunlight glistening on the creatures wings. 
Basking Dragon.
I've seen some nice bird species lately. I had a thirty second view of the Pallid Harrier at Saltholme while out with John (Howdon Blogger) the other weekend, this despite John leaving me to search around the reception area while he was standing outside enjoying a fly by. NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY. Last Sunday i ventured down to Sleddale having discovered at the last minute the car was available. On a stunning day i had prolonged views of both Rough-legged Buzzards, a juvenile and an adult female. Fantastic birds to observe hovering, hunting low across the terrain or climbing on the thermals. Got a couple of record shots and having gone off mid afternoon to explore Hob Hole a picturesque ford on Baysdale Beck and returned an hour later i was gutted to miss out on  brilliant images as the bird appeared from behind me within twenty metres only to realise my camera was on the car seat. Earlier in the morning i had decided to explore Scaling Dam while in the area and stayed there until lunchtime having explored the nature reserve area and found a circular trail which took you out and away from the reservoir and onto the edge of the moors and beside a nice wooded area. I had forgotten that a Red-breasted Goose was there (and still is) but came across a flock of around 140 Fieldfare and numerous Red Grouse in between a Stoat chasing a Rabbit across the hillside in front of me.

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