Monday, 9 November 2015

Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th November

Goldcrest (c) JR
Whilst the unseasonably mild weather continued the persistent rain on Saturday and Sunday was less welcome. Having said that it is important to get some water onto the moor and to start to refill some of our scrapes and pools which have been empty for weeks. The main pool outside the hide is still little more than a large puddle. As wildfowl numbers start to rise in the next month it is essential to have somewhere for them all to go.

Two of the Harriers (c) JR
Three different Marsh Harriers are present including the green wing tagged bird that originates in north or west Norfolk. It will be interesting to get some more information on this particular individual from the people running the project. The Harriers are ranging out beyond the reed beds and spend a lot of time hunting over Greenaways. There are sporadic reports of Short eared Owls but they are not conforming to any regular patterns or times. On Sunday there was a flock of about three hundred Lapwings feeding on the fields to the west of the path to the second screen accompanied by approximately the same number of Golden Plover.
Stonechat (c) Derek Lane
Duck numbers are rising slowly and this weekend I counted at least forty Shovellers on the southern lagoon. Several smaller groups of Gadwall are present and there were six male Pochard at the northern lagoon on Sunday. A female Pintail was seen on Sunday afternoon the first of this winter period. Bittern or Bitterns are being seen regularly commuting from one part of the reedbed to another.
Gadwall (c) JR
A couple of small geese gave me the opportunity to make a mis-identification on Sunday morning. They are Ross’s Goose, Greylag crosses and their heads look remarkably like Pink Footed Geese, with small pink bills with a little black nail. Having only seen their heads at first I fell into the trap so apologies to anyone who went down specially to see them.
Dodgy Geese on right (c) JR

Evening shots (c) Tom Nicholson- Lailey
The only unusual bird this weekend was a Grey Wagtail seen both over and in the field beside the reedbed, this is only the second to be recorded this year on the moor. Larger numbers of winter thrushes are feeding in the hedgerows and the number of finches taking advantage of the seed is continuing to rise. Some calmer dryer weather would be most welcome next weekend.
Feeder (c) JR
Food (c) Darrell Wood  

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