Tuesday 12 November 2013

Absolutely dead?

With the combination of dark evenings and Spurn weekends recently, I appreciated the chance to visit Old Moor today whilst on standby. By the time I returned to the Wader Scrape hide there were plenty of visitors – “seen anything”, I asked? “No nothing, absolutely dead, not even seen a single wader was the reply”. The 800 or so Lapwings seemed to give a glance of disbelief and I wondered why I’d earlier spent an hour or so checking through around 500 ‘Goldies’. I thought about mentioning the single Dunlin I’d seen but wasn't sure if that qualifies as a wader nowadays either? I started looking through the gathering gulls – “just a bunch of Black-heads that lot” he said. Well yes, apart from 16 Commons, two Herrings and a Lesser Black-backed. “Quite a mix, fifty shades of grey” I said. At least he seemed to like that one! Anyway, back to the Wath Ings Hide to look at the duck. After a short while a familiar voice piped-up “what you scoping, got somert?” “Just checking through the Wigeon and Teal for white axillaries or vertical lines” I retorted, not daring to mention I was simply enjoying looking at the beautiful Shoveler and watching the wonderful displaying Teal. And so I left, passing another visitor as I did so. "What’s happened to all the small birds she asked"? Just audible above the non-stop tacking of Tree Sparrows and the ‘si si si’ calls of Long-tailed Tits was the thin call of a Goldcrest. How small do you want it I thought? I trundled off through the centre only to be asked by one of the poor staff – “anything about John?” “No nothing, absolutely dead” I retorted. Ah well, at least I've got the rest of the week to look forward to. Let’s see now, dentist tomorrow, solicitor Thursday, Meadowhall Friday mmmm………

A group of displaying Teal today. Anybody else enjoy them?

Other birds seen perhaps worthy of mention? Grey Wagtail, Starling c400 west, Fieldfare c120 west.

Also: Little Owl Broomhill Flash, Shelduck Wombwell Ings.

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