Monday, September 16, 2013

Tetney Cat And Donna Slog.....Saturday 14th September 2013.

After completing a week long stint(No pun intended) of crappy night shifts,i decided to go to bed for an hour or so and then head out to Tetney for the Cattle Egret,then meet up with regular birding buddy Chris at his patch at Donna Nook.After arriving at Thoresby bridge and getting a few layers on i walked the fairly short distance to where the Egret was feeding.At first i watched it stood motionless in the middle of the field were the cows were feeding,no doubt trying to wonder why it was in a nippy Lincolnshire meadow,instead of being in sub-tropical Africa.But eventually it did move and flew onto the bank side not far from where i was stood and began to feed on insects being disturbed by the cattle,while at the same time sheltering behind them....not daft these Cattle Egrets.It gave some great views and it brought back some good memories of my last at Tophill Low.This was my 3rd sighting of the species in Linc's after birds at Seaview farm and then Legbourne in January/Feb 2008 and near to Donna Nook in Oct/Nov 2010.After enjoying this cracking heron i travelled the short journey over to meet Chris at Donna.A quick refuel and we were off,firstly checking some pools that have been created by the earthworks that are going on in preparation for the flood bank to be created.No waders were seen,but a lovely fresh plumaged male Wheatear was seen,showing characters indicative of the 'Greenland' race.Also here over the fields,was a female Marsh Harrier which had green wing tags and after some research Chris found out it was from a Hawk and Owl trust project from Norfolk..interesting stuff.After this easy going we made the long slog out to the tide edge,which seemed to take an age,compensation was had in the form of another Whitearse,this time a female.As we neared our destination good numbers of waders and gulls were out on the beach and some diligent searching revealed nothing in the way of surprises,but we gained some superb views of the Dunlin,Sanderling,Ringed Plover,Herring,Black-headed and Common Gulls present.As we settled down to seawatch a few bits passed by including  both Arctic Tern and Skuas,Red-throated Diver and a few Common Scoter when Chris shouted me over....Long-tailed Skua.I got on the bird immediately and watched this supreme adult as it battled against the Northerly wind,gradually heading further out,what a cracking bird they are!.More commoner fare was seen afterwards and we decided to go and have a look through the Seals hauled out on the beach.I never tire of watching these superb animals and at least 23 Harbour Seals were mixed in with the Greys,easy to pick out with their lovely speckled coats and stubbier nose.A couple of pups from this years breeding season were also seen,dwarfed by a huge Bull Grey.Both species seem perfectly happy with each others company and i have never seen any fights between the two.After enjoying the Seals,we walked over to the flashes where all we could manage was a single Green Sandpiper and a Willow Warbler in the bushes.A long walk back against the head wind and on sand in wellies was a nightmare to say the least,but all the effort was worth it.....i think.Another great day out out for Lincolnshires crack team of birders :-) 
Cattle Egret,Tetney.

Nosey Cow.

Flyby Cat.

Juvenile Dunlin,Donna Nook.

Juvenile Sanderling.

Juvenile Sanderling.

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