Sunday, 8 July 2018

Chelmarsh Res - Little Bittern!!!

The story starts on the afternoon of Friday 6th July at Chelmarsh reservoir where John Reeves was checking out vain hopes of a Garganey at the causeway? Little did he know,  a bigger jackpot was in store from the reedbed however! It wasn't a bullfrog, nor a small dog but the unmistakable barking of a Little Bittern!!


I joined him with a few other locals at 2:45  and the long process of actually seeing it began! At one stage it was less than 20m off the causeway, you could see the reeds twitching but impossible to see! It wandered further round to the left, eventually covering some 100m +.  Patience was rewarded however when at 9:50 that evening we were treated to a one and only brief flight view! And no images sadly - excellent views of the bittern were had however as I was scanning the exact spot it emerged from!

Fast forward to Sunday morning and after having shown well on the Saturday, I picked up Dave Chapman at 4.15am with hopes of a repeat performance? Here's a view of where it flew in after roosting further up the pool, there's no way you can get close, so patient scanning of far reed bed where it was barking, was the order of the day!


And eventually we were all rewarded with decent scope or camera viewfinder views!


Sometimes quite acrobatic clinging onto the flimsy reeds...


 And eating a flying morsel or two?


 We had to wait until 9:30 for the LB to emerge and reveal it's amazing colours!


A plane flying over seemed to unnerve it and it wasn't long before if flew in front of the reed bed towards the causeway!


Here's the sequence...








Levelling out across the water...




And then diving back into cover some 50m away from where it took off...


Here it is before total emergence, it should only take a second or two to find it? Might be the only fleeting view you get?


Job done, Dave and I called it a day some 9 hours later, celebratory Magnum (the cold variety not champagne) and the most unlikely county tick you could imagine in the bag. Well done Reevesy!!!

Friday, 29 June 2018

Venus Pool - Green Sandpipers galore!

The water level looks great now (shame about spring passage) and as if by magic, there were nine Green Sandpipers on the reserve! It took a while to validate the count as they were spread over the islands and only viewable if you visited both members hides!

Lots of record shots and here's the best of those which came close in bright sunshine...




Needing to cool down in the heat?


Strutting in front of the hide...




Hard to pick a favourite?


You have to go back to 1995 to find the only better count at VP which was made by Geoff Holmes on 28th August that year. Pride of place however, the county record came from ASF in 1993 - those were the days!

Venus Pool - Flying fish!

Apart from the influx of Green Sandpipers, not a lot going on at the moment but with a Heron catching small Carp with gay abandon, I killed some time chasing 'fish toss' shots?

Here goes another one?


There's no escape in the weed!





Which ever way you look at it, the prospects for these fish aren't good!





Nooooo, upside down!


And missed this one by a nano-second?


Need to do better than this fish and two veg too...

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Venus Pool - Egyptian Geese

Two Egyptian Geese have been popping in and out of Venus Pool lately. No idea where they go and this is the first time I've actually seen them!





Ooops, I meant Venus Reservoir! This was where a bit of mud was starting to appear? Soon be back to winter levels at this rate...




'Thinks' Let's find somewhere else?



And off they go...






Nice angle of view!?


Mind that Coot!


Then up, up and away...

Venus Pool - Great Crested Grebes display

Apart from the Egyptian Geese, there was nothing else of note present today but there was a bit of noteworthy activity...


What started off as an easy going mirror dance...


Went to the bearing weed stage...


And then exploded into action!


A shame I was at the wrong angle for the high performance stuff...


But even as things appeared to slow down, there was still a lot of energy going on down below as both Grebes were virtually motionless out of the water!




It's quiet for sure but always something going on, somewhere...

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Colemere - Black Tern

Colemere has become the number one  'go to' site when Black Terns are moving. Having been busy and missed the four on Thursday evening, thanks to Rob Dowley, I got another chance this afternoon!

There's only one 'spikeless' buoy so at least it had somewhere to perch...


A few images of it dancing over the water...


Heading my way!






Full throttle...




A mosquito bite hastened my departure and with my wrist swelling badly, it's Piriton for the next few days?