Monday, May 20, 2019

Baikal Teal (record shot)


On Saturday (18 May), I went to look at March Farmers from the north bank of the Nene, east of the Cross Guns pumping station (where the footpath goes down to Ring's End). I figured I would be a bit closer to any waders which have been hanging around in a flooded field half a mile or so east of the MF car park. Unfortunately, the only passage waders were a few Greenshanks. Avocets were using the river as a commuter run between the feeding areas and their nests a little west of the MF car park. It was along there that I snapped the Scarce Chaser (see below on the blog).
Just as I got back to the car and was heading off, I thought I would quickly check the flooded area west of the MF car park, to see if anything interesting was around. This is the area where the Baikal Teal had been in the first week of the month. It hadn't been reported since 7 May. But, a. We have very few birders checking this area, b. Birders are quick to abandon a place after negative news, c. It could be very elusive during its earlier 'showy period' d. the water levels had got pretty low, so there were more hiding places; bu the recent rain had increased the flood. So, I thought there was a chance that it would still be around. I was right.
I later stood and watched it and tried to get a visiting birder on it (it only took 2.5 hours!). As we scanned, we had a few groups of Ringed Plovers and Dunlin pass through (perhaps 30 RPs and 20 Ds), Greenshank, drake Garganey and four Ruffs (including a fascinating bared-faced blond male), distant booming Bittern and about 10 Cranes. The teal was a sleepy bird and it had been hunkered down among Water Mint or some such plant (probably the only time it wasn't with its best mate a drake Wigeon, with which it exchanged the odd display move)

Bills bending in different directions


Avocet, over the River Nene, March Farmers (from north bank of Nene, 18 May
Curlew, departing Maxey-Etton pit, at 10.25am 19 May

First Scarce Chaser of the year


This newly emerged beauty was on the banks of the Nene east of Cross Guns (level with March Farmers)

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Deepings Whimbrel


This Whimbrel was found a few days ago in the field used as a car-park by the Exotic Pet Refuge of Deeping St James, South Lincolnshire. As it happens, this is also a hedge hop from the east pit of Deeping Lakes, LWT, where the bird would go to bathe and feed on the shore, occasionally. The rest of the time, over the weekend, it was happy to wander around in the grass pull out earthworms.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Some recent snippets


Cattle Egret and friend, Deeping Lakes LWT (bank of the River Welland), Lincolnshire
Cranes, Nene Washes, Cambridgeshire (flight shot was part of a flock of 14)
Yellow Wagtail, March Farmers, Cambs
Male Cuckoo, March Farmers, Cambs
Otter, one of four on the Maxey Cut, Cambs
Lapwing, Deeping High Bank, Lincs
Red-crested Pochard brood, Baston and Langtoft pits, Lincs

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Spotted Redshank, Deeping Lakes LWT

Black Terns and Little Gulls, BLGP 'wader pit'


Whenever Josh Jones comes into the PBC area, he turns up goodies. This Easter weekedn, this included a couple of Ring Ouzels (see below), and a whole bunch of Little Gulls (Will B and I counted 24) and six Black Terns. The upper photo shoes 12 Little Gulls and the six terns. the lower one features 16 Little Gulls.

Red-necked Grebe, Deeping Lakes LWT, Lincs


Found early in the morning by Hugh Wright, this beauty stayed all day on the east pit. The Spotted Redshank dropped (see above) in while Will, Josh and I were grebing. But only landed for about 20 seconds!

Cattle Egret, Deeping High Bank, Lincs

Yellowhammer, Moonshine Gap, Cambs

Ring Ouzel, south of Etton, Cambs

Whinchat, Thurlby Fen, Lincs


This beautiful male Whinchat (aren't they all beautiful, in spring?) was found by Vin Fleming on 20 April. My previous earliest was on 22 April 2006, so another record early bird (if only by two days).

Cuckoo with caterpillar