Saturday, 24 August 2013

WELFORD RESERVOIR 23-08-13

Well I got off work at 12pm today and the greyhound was begging for a walk, so since the skies were already grey-ing up I thought a quick walk and scan of Welford Reservoir was in order, if it rained there might be a few drop-in passing migrants...hopefully some waders, they've been short on the ground this autumn so far at the reservoir....plus secretly I was praying for the Osprey.
Even though no real birding was planned the camera was taken and since bending over picking up hound pooh was going to happen the binoculars were left behind they dangle a bit to close and my greyhound does love shoving me from behind (said the actress to the bishop).
The Kestrel was on his patch but sadly to far away, this is taken from the wall of the dam looking down towards the marshy area and as you can see on the right of the frame the houses on the village High Street...."bird in it's environment" image or "record" shot, I'll let you decide....
I got half way along the dam to the steps that descends the embankment, I like sitting here a) when the sun remembers it's summer it's behind your back and you're shaded too. b) It's a great spot for catching both Swallows/House Martins skimming the water and catching the Kingfisher as it heads from the village and up/over the dam onto the reservoir.
Both Swallows/House Martins were present in quite good numbers a lot of Damselflies were on the surface so plenty to feed on. A male Sparrowhawk was mobbed by the swallows and ushered away from the reservoir, the swallows were in a bullying mood today, the light was awful so no images today, however I chuckled at the adults chasing the Common Terns away from the Damselflies but when the Kingfisher came through calling WITH a fish in it's mouth the swallows even gave chase to that, I had to laugh, compensated at least for no images, Jim the Greyhound was being patient and I was just about to carry on my walk when I heard a familiar call.....4 Yellow wagtails dropped in on the bank to my right hand side, a bit far away and with the dog was no point in trying to get closer.....first some dodgy record shots the first showing all four...
 Standing guard.......
 Always has to be one who has to mess around, the yellowwag' behind looks a bit miffed!


There was plenty of food around and all four were busy either drinking or catching prey.


High ISO's, heavy crops and dull light (did I mention the greyhound?lol) but was reasonably happy. I decided I was going to walk the ever-patient hound but thought I would with a 500mm prime lens go macro...in an attempt to demonstrate what was getting the yellowwags excited......
ON THEIR WAY TO BE LUNCH...AT LEAST ONE DIED WITH A SMILE!
I was just about to get up and go when I heard more yellowwags but coming from my left, I checked over to the right and the four were still there, a small flock circled and plunged down, very far away along the wall of the dam to my left...NINE in total, given it's another record image I put in some helpful arrows (more for my benefit to be fair).
 This group never came close and were soon gone about 20 minutes later when a couple came through the gate and walked along the dam wall to the bridge, all 13 headed south'ish the general direction of Naesby Reservoir. I wasn't even too grumpy at the appearance of the couple as these were a bonus bird, "I started the spring at this location with Yellow Wagtails and looks like I'll end up with Yellow Wagtails at the end of the summer" I thought to myself....BUT  it actually got slightly better because just as I was about to get up (I swear I was...honest) I heard a seeping like call.....
 Two adults landed in the weedy stuff in the shallows and one juvenile was stupid/brave enough and land quite near to me....Meadow Pipit, so not more then 50 yards from the carpark I had 1 Kestrel, 13 Yellow wagtails, 3 Meadow Pipits, 5 terns (2 adults, 3 juveniles), adult and juvenile Great Crested Grebe, Kingfisher, Swallows, House Martins & Sparrowhawk.....not too shabby...oh and Jim got his walk too.
NOT A JUVENILE MEADOW PIPIT BUT A JUVENILE YELLOWWAG TAIL
PLEASE NOTE I'M AN IDIOT AND NOT A PROPER BIRDER THIS POST HAS BEEN RE-EDITED TO BE SLIGHTLY MORE ACCURATE, I SENT THE ABOVE IMAGE TO OUR COUNTY RECORDER MIKE ALIBONE FOR CONFIRMATION AND IT'S A JUVENILE YELLOW WAGTAIL ALSO HE SENT ME BACK AN EMAIL ASKING HAD I SPOTTED THE "BLUE HEADED" VERSION OF THE YELLOW WAGTAIL....GUESS WHAT? I HADN'T! I'M NOT SURE I HAD BUT WAS QUESTIONING THE IRRATE BIRD IN THE IMAGE WHERE THE YELLOWWAGTAIL WAS BATHING, SADLY MY BOOK DOESN'T LIST THIS SPECIES, THE BOOK THAT DOES I'VE LEANT TO PAUL'S DAUGHTER WHO'S USING TO ID SPECIES PREDATED BY THE LOCAL SPARROWHAWK....TIME TO GET MY BOOK BACK AND ACTUALLY READ IT.

12 comments:

  1. I'm glad I caught this post. I enjoyed the Grey Wagtails but the Common Blue Damsel flies are a perfect shot.

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    1. Cheers Adrian the one shot I wish came out was the wasp dong something I've never seen before, it was drinking on the surface of the reservoir it looked like it was doing an impression of a water-boatman, I thought at first it was drowning, but it wasn't...very odd

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  2. Great set of 'record' shots Douglas...lol!
    Sometimes it's not all about getting that perfect shot but just taking the time to sit quietly and take in the beauty of the nature that surrounds us.
    Anyway, that's what I tell myself when I regularly return home with a memory card full of rubbish images!!
    At least Jim was satisfied with the outing!...[;o)

    Spa predictions - Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen and maybe Alonso as an outside bet.

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    1. Don't think Jim was happy but he loves his car rides so at least he got something out of it :)
      Spa my second favourite GP after Silverstone....did you see the tyre failures on Friday "apparently" Kimi's car dropped some metal, not convinced myself. Tyres also might be changing to Michelin too, I'm looking at Monza with concern.
      My predictions are a bit different I don't think the Mercedes have front end grip so I'm going with Vettel/Alonso/Webber...I'm not sure if EJ is right about Kimi going to the Fez's Kimi's not so keen at the moment, he was absent from a press conference on Thursday as he was "ill"....

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  3. Spa is a classic track, always throws up an exciting race, although not so challenging now they've got those mile wide runoffs!
    Just seen the Pirelli explanation on TV...seems credible! Apparently Michelin have got some treadless (slick!) wets to show off, should be interesting!! Kimi will stay at Lotus, they will pay up as they can't afford to loose him! The Mercs will fly in quali, they've been sandbagging in practice!...[;o)

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    1. Yeah the tyre seems explainable, EJ reckons (though he was mute today)at Monza. Fez will announce Kimi signing, though thet deny it!
      You're right about Spa I was watching a DVD called "in car 956" if you haven't seen it, it features Derek Bell driving the Rothams Porsche 956 around Brands,Silverstone,Fuji(i think),Le Mans,Spa and the infamous Nordsescleife (I think thats spelt wrong) and it was just after Spa was altered and it LOOKS so different to today, it's all in car footage and is remarkable footage, check it out

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  4. And it rained!...love it!!!...[;o)

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    1. If your predictions come through on Sunday (i have a sneaky feeling they will) I'm buying you a wizards hat lol

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  5. I love reading your blog. If I can't get out birding with camera myself, i can see your record and enjoy. I especially appreciate your enthusiasm and humor.

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    1. Thanks Judy, I think my humour stems from the refusal to grow old gracefully but often ends up with me making BIG errors at times as the above images show....:)
      p.s. If you've got a blog/website drop us a link via the comments

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  6. Excellent set of the wags Doug.
    Well done with the blue headed one too.
    Always trust your gut. :-)

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    1. Thanks Keith, my heart sank when Mike said "you did spot the blue headed..." if I had concentrated on that one bird I might have got some decent images, always next time if there is a next time....

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