Thursday, 21 April 2016

Cresswell Pond and Budge Field

It was nice to see the actual rising of the sun above the horizon at sunrise once again after weeks of grey skies. I called in at the north end on arrival at the pond on Tuesday but no Long-billed Dowitcher. There were six Avocets initially, two of which made their way to the sand bar later in front of the hide where i went to next.
Last year when i saw the first signs of the Avocets looking to make nests my heart soared, Tuesday when i witnessed it my heart sank recalling how the five nests on the sand bar were wiped out last year systematically by a fox. I can only see the same thing happening again.
I did catch a pair mating last week, which i had almost forgotten about.
They deserve better. They are stunning creatures and always give me a lift when i encounter them.  I managed to capture this individual in flight in lovely light around 6 a.m.
The Dowitcher could not been seen from the hide either when i got there and after twenty minutes or so i saw Rob S. initially creeping low towards the causeway then lying prone with his camera photographing something. It had to be the LBD i thought to myself. You can see Robs images HERE
Before i headed back to the north end to join Rob i noticed the battery was getting low on my camera and thought that i had better put a new one in before i went out to join him. Being the age i am i totally forgot and on checking my settings when i got into position on the causeway was horrified to realise the camera could go dead at any minute. I decided i had better take single images on timer but the LBD, as with other times i had caught up with it, was feeding continuously in that familiar sewing machine action so getting a shot of the bird with it's bill was difficult...and something i didn't manage. Never mind, it was great to see it looking stunning as it further goes into breeding plumage in some decent light for the first time for me. A full battery would have meant i could have taken bursts of shots to capture the brief moments it raised its head. Next time......if it stays.

Last Sunday while visiting the Budge Field i was lucky enough to find a Jack Snipe. It showed really well and was next to a Common Snipe for a short period which gave brilliant size comparison. It put the bird out on Twitter and within fifteen minutes i was joined by five other birders asking where the bird was. I left them to the bird in not the best of moods as not one of them had the courtesy to thank me for putting them onto it. Just me ?? or what.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Then and now.

The Long-billed Dowitcher is still hanging around at Cresswell Pond and seems to be favouring the pool just north of the causeway path. I got within a few metres of it again this morning as it was feeding well once more. Starting to colour up nicely as the following image shows. Beneath is the image i captured on the 15th of March for comparison. No luck with the light again. I had the bird for about twenty minutes sharing the experience with Dave and Andy C

Top image 10/04/16 bottom image 15/03/16