Saturday, 16 April 2011

A birds eye view of the Fen and a bit of Fudge for breakfast

Lots going on in the past week, its the start of survey season so early mornings are becoming more regular and now we have a good excuse to spend all day out in the field doing surveys. I will obviously not be writing about any of the rarer nesting species on this blog so at times it may go a little quiet bird wise but then again moths and soon odes and other insects will become the focus.

This weeks highlight was having to get a cherrypicker in to do some essential work at height. This meant that we could get a once in a life time chance to see the fen from above (it was high!) Due to work commitments I could only go up it in the workshop yard but it was a great view, changes the perspective of the reserve for me. lots of pics taken but due to bad light they have not come out too well, nor do they do the view any real justice.

Yesterday morning I finally managed to catch up with the Ferruginous Duck from fen hide. It was good to catch up with and I got really good views which made it better. I am not sure of a) the origins of the bird and b) the purity. I think it looks pretty pure to me however there are some things I need to check on, it seems to show quite a lot of black on its bill, should just be the nail, the head and eye colour look good to me, as do the flanks mantle and pure white undertail. It was displaying to the female Pochards but I guess that's ok with the lack of any of its own kind to flirt with! I may stick some picks on birdforum to see what the duck experts (or people that claim to be, but have never seen a Ferruginous Duck themselves) think.

Other interesting sightings for the week were Little Ringed Plover over the fen at 4.30 am on Saturday and this interesting looking Buzzard which was most probably a Common, however it did show quite an interesting variation- pale uppertail, good carpal patches, dark belly patch and had a long winged appearance, certainly got the heart beating when I saw it coming towards me!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Good week at Strumpy

Missed a Hoopoe yesterday and a male fudge duck today but these two cranes that flew over me during lunch mire than made up for it! They circled the fen for a short while, had a look at my handy work in the reedbed and then duely buggered off, not satisfied with the effort, ungrateful or what!

Lots of moths in the traps on Thursday morning, 26 species in total, including a new one for me- Mottled Grey- a rather dull moth but quite distictive all the same.

At the moment at Strumpshaw the following are singing in numbers, Blackcap, Willow, Grasshopper, reed and sedge Warblers as well as many chiffs, swallows, sand and house martins, add to that Marsh harriers sky dancing and you have a very nice spring scene. You gotta love April.