Reed All About It!

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Headline news was made on Wednesday.  A monumental moment in EFRS history…
Bearded Reedlings, in the flesh (feather!)

Sadly Andrew was not around, so it was a solo viewing.  Indeed had Andrew been around, the Beardies would have melted away into the reeds.

Andrew is a staunch Beardie atheist.  If you mention them you will immediately get a  tut or roll of the eyes followed by “They aren’t real”.

I totally understand the skepticism.  I have only ever seen two of these sneaky birds and that was ages ago.  

But it all changed yesterday!  I was so pleased to see (and hear) them that I pretty much forgot about camera settings and just machine gunned it.  Many shots were fired but most of them were a blurred mess.  I wont complain about the light (which was awful) as I feel privileged to see them.  Heck I would be pleased to see them if it was night time!

 Bearded Reedlings!  Nearly...

 Yes I know it would be nice to get one perching nicely on a reed, but a fence will have to do.

There were at least 10 of these little critters flitting about, pinging away.  I stayed for a good hour.  Enjoying the sights and sounds.

Hopefully Andrew believes it...


That synching feeling


Synching – everything involves synching. Your iPhone needs to synch with iTunes.  Your HTC wants to synch with your laptop, The Samsung galaxy wants to synch with your car.  Can't anything just be alone? Must everything be linked and connected?  Well, in some circumstances it does make things better…

Unfortunately the EFRS synching systems haven’t been functioning very well of late…
Whenever Andrew was ready and able, I wasn’t.  But today we managed to synch.

Andrew confirmed his arrival at Ham Wall via phone.  Meanwhile I was at Wells sorting office collecting part of my Halloween outfit (that’s for another time).

10 minutes later I was at Ham Wall car park.  I had a quick catch up with Lee Dutton, who had some great news.  Congratulations on the imminent arrival of mini Dutton!

Meanwhile Andrew was watching Marsh Harriers and Bitterns from VP1. Finally EFRS was synched.

Andrew informed me of his plans to buy a new super duper lens along with his trials and tribulations with film cameras (he does make life hard for himself – I will stick with digital).

Amongst the conversation we had numerous Bittern flybys along with Marsh Harriers.  Always good to catch up with the regulars, I've said it before but to count Harriers and Bitterns as “regulars” is a lucky thing indeed.

A bold heron was stalking along the drain in search of something slimy to eat.  They do remind me of dinosaurs when they stalk along (not that I've actually seen any dinosaurs – but I have seen Jurassic Park).

Yes while James was yabberin' to Lee about what ever (Congratulations Lee BTW) I was doing the important stuff like trying to entice Marsh Harriers a bit closer and keeping my eye out for Bitterns. It's been ages since I've seen both a Bittern and  Male Marsh Harrier. Today I was in luck. James didn't!!)

First off a Buzzard. As usual I pondered why Marsh Harriers never come this close! Apparently they do come this close. Nick P Williams just confirmed this IS a Marsh Harrier

Mute Swan. Again why don't Egrets come this close

Speaking of Synching. These two were practically inseparable. I watched them on and off all day at VP2. Mostly the Little was following the Great but it did work the other way round. Teamwork or just the grass is always greener?

First Bittern of the day. Was a good flyby

And my male Marsh Harrier way to far off but worth the three pics

My take on the heron sat just up from VP2

Why don't Bitterns sit this close!

Staying stock still while the Swan inspected. It was like the Queen inspecting the troops!

Second flyby of a Bittern

After a catch up we headed over to the Avalon hide – surprisingly there was nobody in there.  A first!

Despite the slightly nippy wind flowing through the hatches we still did pretty well with yet more Marsh Harriers, a few Gadwall, Jays and a flyby Kingfisher.  Oh and a few Coots!

 Stonechat which I thought was a Linnet

That same Stonechat

 A murder

A Kestrel flew going somewhere for a change. They're usually already where they want to be.

That Jay that James was referring to

And the third Bittern flyby

 Coots with the odd Gadwall

Still a fan of these

 Peregrine, Hobby - I'm really not too sure
(A Peregrine surely!)

We have confirmation that this is a Juvenile Hobby. Prossibly fledged this year nearby and the last we will see for a while. Thanks to Lee Dutton and Nick P Williams for ID




                                          Its a Kingfisher (the colourful blob in the middle)

We wandered back to VP2 where Little and Large where still playing tag team.

Following you

Still following you

Ha Ha now your following me

Rather dark morph Buzzard

No this way

Following you again

Wait for me

What kept you?

They both caught plenty of fish doing this so it was worth the effort. Could have watched them all day but sadly time was up.

Unbelievably nearly 3 hours had passed by.  Andrew knew he would probably be in a spot of trouble when he got back.  I, on the other hand had made my timings successfully.  I was confident I would avoid any flak for being late.

With luck we will be able to synch more successfully as winter draws in.  After all, a shared experience enhances the day.