Sunday, 9 January 2011

Washday Blues

Undoubtedly the best day of the year so far, sunny and brilliantly blue and busy with visitors pretty much all day. Looking from the Tern hide I initially saw rather little but returning a bit later I was pleased to see the avocet, first seen yesterday was still present. It remained all day either roosting or just standing about, they used to do much the same at Farlington, apparently very rarely spending time feeding.

I then went up to the Lapwing hide where there were just over a hundred goosander in the bay to the south of the hide with some on the shore below the hide, hauled out and preening.

It must have been a day for a good wash and brush up, as several other ducks were also concentrated on personal hygiene, the series of pictures below are of a drake wigeon. At first it was just preening but then on the surface, but then it started turning vigorous somersaults, followed by violent wing thrashing of the water. This drake was very determined to get clean and spent at least fifteen minutes and a lot of energy trying to get a spruce as possible.

First the rub-down.
Then the rolling plunge.
And then the power shower, followed by another rub-down and it all starts again.
Yesterday was the day for birds, two bittern were seen from the Ivy North hide, as far as I know none were seen there today, although one was seen to fly over heading north and drop in somewhere near Mockbeggar Lake. The great grey shrike was also about yesterday, but not today. However the great white egret, yesterday seen on Rockford Lake was today on Mockbeggar Lake and the 10 white-fronted geese were again on Ibsley Water, even if only briefly. On the plus side a possible mealy redpoll was seen, although as last week, not conclusively identified, although it seems there is at least an interesting pale redpoll on the reserve, something to look out for at least.

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