What do you mink?

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!

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