Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tuesday 20th September

Even without the wind, tonight had a real feel of autumn about it, dull, murky, wet and dark by 7.30pm. I had an email from the Capt to say he and his dog Murphy saw a Wheatear and around 30 Swallows this afternoon. Changing the subject I really wish he had called his dog Tenille, that would have more suited the mood of this blog – it could pass for a Muscrat – if you squint a bit!

Anyway, I took a walk around this evening with my own Muscrat, I thought with the heavy rain the Reservoir would be quiet. I subsequently found that a surprising number of people think like me and the place was pretty crowded. As they say there is no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothes.

Before I continue with the bird news, a friend of mine told me that he had seen a birdwatcher around the reservoir (he thinks I’m a one off). I said I probably knew him and asked for a description to which and I quote  “He was getting on a bit, had a big camera with him (could have been a scope, he’s not that observant), oh and he had a Dick Dastardly moustache”. Bobby Duckhouse, star of Wacky Races/Catch the Pigeon take a bow!

Back to the birds – There were still four Goosander in the roost, I connected with the Wheater but there was little else and no hirundines. On my return to the car park I met another Shustoke regular Steve Cawthray enconced in the force field (come to think of it has he got a moustache). Anyway, apparently two Little Egrets had flown behind me and looked to have landed near the small pool, that is the first record for the year.

He also had a Yellow-legged Gull, but as a Buzzard had flown over and spooked the gulls they had all flown and settled down the far end of the Reservoir. He kindly set his scope up and in the gathering gloom we managed to picked out a likely candidate, and whilst I am pretty sure it was a YLG it was a long way away and it was rather gloomy, in all honesty there were a few candidates! In fact there were a good number (for Shustoke of larger gulls with c.50 Herring, 200 LBB Gull and 800 Black-headed Gull. There were also a good number of Lapwing tonight with close on a 100 birds.

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