Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wet And Windy,But Good Birds........

A free day again today,so i joined the Grimbarians,Chris,Tony and Ian for a foray around the north east part of the county,taking in some of the goodies on offer.We started proceedings at a very windy and incredibly cold Withern to look for the beautiful Scandi Buteo and after much scanning and a false alarm Chris found this stunning vole scoffer hunting over the rough fields to the west of the village.We managed some great views of this lovely bird as we were constantly battered by the strong north westerly,as it quartered the sorrounding fields looking for its vole breakfast.On my last visit i had only gained brief views of this Rough-leg,but today i was nicely recompensed.Other sightings logged here included a couple of Little Egret and at least 4 Common Buzzard.Our next stop was Covenham Res and we made our way to shelter from the wind behind the strategically placed Yacht club buildings,this made for a good choice as the heavens opened for a good hour with some of the heaviest rain i have seen for a while.Enjoying our respite from the weather,we managed to find the previous days Red-necked Grebe after some help from Covenham regular Keith Robinson.It was watched at distance feeding around the water tower and became the 6th bird i have managed to see this year.Other birds observed here were a couple of dapper drake Goosander,looking like big,white exocet missiles in flight and as equally as streamlined on the water,very nice!.The final destination was the nearby Thoresby bridge,which was the most productive site of the day.The main highlights here consisted of the resident 4 'Tundra' Bean Geese,which were watched leisurely grazing on the sugar beet in the field along with 10 Whooper and 2 Bewick's Swan.The Bean's becoming my 35th,36th,37th and 38th birds of the autumn/winter period,amazing!.The Whooper Swans consisted of 8 adult birds and 2 juveniles and the Bewick's,both adults.A nice surprise here came in the form of 2 Short-eared Owl watched hunting along the drain bank side and a single Barn Owl was also seen hunting an adjacent set-aside strip.So all in all,a very successful day,considering the weather conditions and a big thanks to Catkin for driving.