Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Greylake - Spotted Crake!!

Chew Valley lake got the Somerset stage of the trip into gear with nearly 40 species seen after stopping at both roadside vantage points. No sign of the Ferruginous Duck sadly but this particular bird is a bit of bogey for me and no doubt many other birders!

The next stop at Meare Heath scored a year tick with two Little Stint, present on the drained muddy lagoon. A cracking Spotted Redshank plus a couple of Ruff. A pair of Hobby hunting over the reedbeds and a Marsh Harrier got the raptor count going too!

The bird of the day was yet to come with our next stop at Greylake reserve however.....

The reserve might be small and there wasn't much else on offer but after 45 mins of patiently watching the reeds in the North West corner, we finally got our quarry - and within 15 metres too - an adult Spotted Crake!!

Seeing it was one thing, getting decent images was another! Eventually I got a shot or two where it was not significantly obscured by vegetation.

Even a close up.....

The diet of Spotted Crake includes aquatic invertebrates and plant material. They are not averse to a small fish or two on the menu either as I discovered with this image!

We ended the day at Bowling Green Marsh - timed to perfection for a pretty impressive wader roost. 12 wader species on view including another Little Stint, couple of Curlew Sandpiper, a few Whimbrel plus 100's of the regulars!!