Thursday, 3 March 2011

Look Away Now

A great turn out of volunteers today, twenty in all, sufficient to split into three teams to do different tasks. The strangest of which was clearing a tonne or more of wheat that had been dumped overnight at the reserve entrance, completely blocking the access to the water-ski club.

The feeders are going down faster than ever and when I went to fill them I tried to take a few shots of the brambling. I nearly got several, but in the ones in focus the bird was always looking the other way! The first picture is of a male, I think an adult as the coverts are uniform, which is to say all the same age and the result of a single moult progress.
By contrast the female below I am pretty confident in saying is a bird hatched last year as it has coverts of two different ages, a few still from the first feathers it grew in the nest and most of them replaced later. The coverts are the feathers that make the orangish wing-bar in this picture curving down and to the right,the feathers at the lowest end are shorter and with much paler tips, these are the oldest ones.
Birds today included 2 redshank on Ibsley Water first thing and later at least one black-necked grebe. At the Ivy North hide a bittern and at least one smew were seen, both in the wet reed area just in front of the hide. Once again a male lesser spotted woodpecker was near the Centre around the middle of the day, calling loudly today. It may have been more animated because it knew what was later reported to me, that a female lesser spotted woodpecker was also about today. Fingers crossed, we might get a pair breeding again, let's hope they are more successful than they were a couple of years ago.
Still no sand martin or little ringed plover, but with the brisk north-east wind not too surprising. With the high pressure extending right across western Europe I expect when the wind drops or swings southerly we will get a significant influx or birds, something to look forward too.

No comments:

Post a Comment