Friday, 19 October 2012

Summerleys 19th October 2012

Well I had to start off early this morning as I had to take care of a few things and found myself pre-dawn down at the pit. Overnight the river levels seemed to have shot up. The water level on the main lake was right up to the feeding station. It was quite overcast to start with and when the sun started to come out it then created a mist that once I had left at 11:00 am was then replaced with cloud hanging over the site. Apart from a Little Grebe on the scrape, it was empty with the exception of Moorhens and Coots. So tripod in hand and camera in a bag I trudged round to the screen hide, the water within feet of the hide, it would've produced a few good images if the light had been good. Pretty close to the hide was a solitary Snipe playing hide and seek in the long grass, Widgeon,Teal,Shoveller and Mallards feeding in swampy verges and Lapwings when not parading "general style" in front of the hide were busy wiffling from in front of the hide over to Gull Island which today looked tiny and back again to the hide. A few Golden Plovers were also on the island, I just love the Golden Plovers call. Great entertainment but no real good images though.
GOLDEN PLOVERS (Pluvialis apricaria), Misty start to the morning
So with dire light and high water levels I headed off down to the feeding station, as when the water levels are high you often get a Water Rail, sadly not today. Although there is a Cetti's Warbler which was calling quite frequently, loads of passerines but on a worrying note, there are at least 4 different Greenfinches with great big ticks on their heads, also I saw at least 1 Blue Tit and 1 Great Tit with ticks around their eyes.
Finally it saddens me to say at my recently "undisclosed" Barn Owl site the bird had been found dead, the bloke who found the Owl kept the body for me, NOT FOUL PLAY, it seems to have collided with something, either the buildings or another bird tried to rob it of it's food and forced it to the ground. It was a youngster, but strangely, for around here, the bird was not tagged or ringed. It's "nature" that it's dead, I accept that, if it hadn't been natural causes I think I would've been very angry. Weather dependant I've got a few plans, I've pinned the OS map to the wall and if it's sunny, I'm going to throw a dart at it, I'll let you know where I end up.
Have a good week end all.

GREENFINCH (Chloris chloris), Eating berries

LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis), a scientic name I'm not retyping again!


  1. Lovely shot of the Little Grebe Doug.

    I keep saying it, but I must get to Summer Leys soon lol
    Sad news about the Barn Owl.

  2. Thanks Keith,
    To be honest you're not missing much at Summer Leys at the moment, plenty of passerines in the bushes like Bullfinches etc but not many wildfowl.