Saturday, 6 July 2013

WELFORD, 5TH JULY.

Ah, glorious sunshine peeping through the crack in my curtains and if we can trust the Met. Office a heatwave in the next week too.....expect flooding then!
I had to sort some things out at home so by the time I got out in the afternoon it was hot,hot. So I headed for the north of the county and headed for Welford reservoir. I hadn't got any decent Housemartin and Swallow images and there was a slim chance of an Osprey (it never showed), plus the air just seems a little cooler, it might be all in the "head" or it could be because it's elevated and not in a valley like so many of my other spots, who knows?
By the time I got there, the worst of the heat was cooling down but still a bit "heat-hazy" image wise, so I went for a walk round and see what I could find in the bushes, the swallow and housemartins weren't going anywhere so could wait.
In a previous post I mentioned how in with a juvenile Tit flock was a singular Chiff-Chaff (juvenile), well I found the same thing but with Long Tail Tit flock, quite clever what it was doing, it was stealing any food the juvenile Long Tail Tits were catching, also when an adult bird was coming in with food the Chiff-Chaff would barge the Long Tail Tits out of the way and snatch the food, BUT there was also an adult Chiff-Chaff lurking and standing back watching what was happening.....interesting...I thought!
NOT A HAPPY JUVENILE LONG TAIL TIT

LURKING AND WAITING FOR FREE FOOD

RECORD SHOT OF CHIFF-CHAFF WITH ADULT LOTTIE
It was pretty quite apart from a peeping Kingfisher that kept announcing it's arrival on the reservoir, I would see this bird a total of 18 times during the course of the day! Each time it flew away towards the pub (clever bird) before coming back and each time it left, it left with a fish, good fisher then.
This Chiff-Chaff amused me having a root around for food
IT'S IN HERE SOMEWHERE!!

GOT IT!!!

A SCRUFFY COMMON WHITETHROAT 
Also got these Cinnabar Moth caterpillars (I think), there was a lot of these on site. Not easy doing this shot with a 500mm, also a lot baby toads were in the long grass, definitely one not to try with a 500mm so I left the vulnerable looking toads.
 I shouldn't laugh but sibling rivalry can be amusing to watch, not for the young Long Tail Tit on the left, in the last image you might be able to tell which direction it was pushed in and which way it fell, sadly to fast of a fluttering for me.

I'm missing my teleconverters as the swallows and housemartins weren't taking a drink close enough in (kids and dogs swimming didn't help). These would've been better with more focal length

Still Welford does pull a surprise from time to time. I sat down on the steps on the wall of the dam hoping the swallows would come in closer, watched as the female Kestrel perched on the phone wires on the carpark, sadly/gladly the sun was in my face for the shot, so left it. A few Linnets and Yellowhammers calling away, then a piping call we all know was heard, distant but getting closer, coming in off the fields (from the direction of the gliding club-north) was an Oystercatcher, it flew in and landed on the dam.

It flew off and settled at the Sulby end of the reservoir, "piping" away, no sign of a second individual. After a couple of hours it flew back towards me over the carpark in a southerly direction, "that's it then" it's off to Hollowell I thought, but I watched it land in the fields behind the houses on the High Street were I could still hear it calling, a few minutes later it landed back on the reservoir and was still there when I left at 20:36...hardly a rarity or even a "reportable" bird but takes my wader count for the reservoir to 11 (stop laughing) which includes Dunlin, Wood sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper,Common Sandpiper,Green Sandpiper,Greenshank,Redshank, Little Ringed Plover,Ringed Plover,Curlew and now Oystercatcher. No waders breed on site and most waders are normally migrants passing through so I'm quite chuffed.

6 comments:

  1. These are brilliant. The Chiffchaff on the hogweed is my favourite by a short head from the pait of LTT's.

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    1. Yeah that Chiff gave me a headache in processing it, I lost count the number of times I cropped, then tried another. The Ltt's are so much fun to watch

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  2. Very interesting read Doug, cheeky chiff! Great behavioural images too, but the 3rd last picture of the Swallow skimming over the lake to drink is just superb!

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    1. Very cheeky Chiff it made me smile even if it didn't the lotties. Just wish I had the teleconverters for that swallow shot:(

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  3. Those LTTs are sooo adorable! I really like the swallow image with its reflection - fantastic!

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    1. I know what you mean about the Ltt's the one species when I photograph I struggle to stop smilling.

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