Monday, 14 March 2011

The Beat of an Unknown Drummer

Another clear blue, spring-like day, although with an early frost. When I opened up the Tern hide 2 female goldeneye were just outside the hide so I grabbed a quick shot of them. Otherwise there was a black-necked grebe near the western shore, as there has been for some time and a few sand martins flying over.
There was also a pair of redshank on the shore below the hide, allowing a nice comparison between the sexes.
The male has a much more speckled appearance, to some extent this is because he is more advanced into breeding plumage.
The female still looks much more like a bird in winter plumage, lacking the dark patterned feathers on the back and the spotting on the neck.
At lunchtime I went over to the Tern hide again and the snipe that seems to have been there for several days now was just in front of the hide. Despite all the weeding we did a few weeks ago it was still impossible to get a picture without dead plant stems in the way.
I cleared some of the bramble at the end of the soon to be opened seasonal path, however I need to go back with the chainsaw to deal with a fallen dead ash tree. The trunk had several lumpy black fungi on it, these were King Alfred's cakes, since they are supposed to look like the cakes he burnt in the folk tale.
The lesser spotted woodpecker was beside the Ivy South hide this morning, I had brief but good views, it was a female. A possibly more interesting woodpecker observation eluded me though, a gentle drumming near the Ivy North hide, that was unlike either lesser or great spotted and which I suspected might have been a green woodpecker. All the books say that they do drum, but I have never knowingly heard one, even though I have had them nest with in sight of my garden more than once. Unfortunately, despite searching I could not locate the bird to confirm the identity of the drummer.
The bittern seems to have finally gone, but the female smew was seen again today from the Ivy North hide, it, or another was seen on Mockbeggar Lake yesterday. A chiffchaff singing near Ivy Lake completed the migrants, if my suspected hearing of a little ringed plover on Friday was one it seems to have moved on.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I visited on Sunday and I did see 1 green woodpecker fly from right to left in front of the north ivy hide :)