The weather forecast said that there would be a brief dry period this morning. So i grabbed the bull by the horns and got out to do some birding EFRS style! Well, kind of. It wasn't really a fully fledged (sorry!) outing. For a start it was just me (James). Andrew has got a little less hard core of late. I think our outing to Slimbridge a while ago has softened him up a bit. He will only visit heated hides now and expects flushing loos and vending machines on site. Secondly, I didn't cycle and used the car instead which just isn't as good if I'm honest. But I was still determined to make the most of it.
Down at Catcott the weather was perfect. Really calm and still. Even my cheap, tripod didnt wobble like a drunken OAP today! Allowing me some good views of my favourite duck the Pintail. Sadly they didn't want to come close enough for a decent picture.
Still, plenty of Widgeon and Teal. All of which seemed more active than normal (most of the time ducks are asleep).
I had been wanting to get an action shot of a swan for a while. I just never get the camera out at the right time. However this came to an end today with a juvenile swan posing very nicely for the camera.
Plenty of Lapwing about making a din and generally being uptight. Even more so when a female Marsh harrier put in an appearance. She flew reasonably close and i managed a few shots
Then it was off back home. I thought I would head through Westhay and I;m glad I did. Stopping just after the reserve entrance, after annoying a man in a posh land rover (as I wasn't driving at 60 mph). I quickly scanned through the Mute swans and to my surprise I found a Whooper. He ambled closer and closer and posed nicely for the camera, bonus!
Feeling rather smug I drove on... Then i caught a glimpse of something furry jumping into a nearby ditch. I couldnt pull up right away as there were cars behind. I carried on for a few meters and pulled over. Carefully getting out of the car I peered into the ditch. SPLOSH. A furry body vanished under the shallow water. I caught it glimpse as it glided up the ditch, hurriedly I followed the trail of bubbles and disturbed water. Unfortunately the critter went into a tangle of roots and trees. Was it a mink or... an otter? I honestly don't know. It was very dark which would be more in keeping with a mink and it seemed a little small for an otter and it was daylight (I am told otters are largely nocturnal). Either way if I had stayed in the car I may well have got a better look. Grrrrr.
Still I was rewarded with a Buzzard doing weird things on a tree.
A good morning all in all!