Thursday, 9 April 2015

SUMMER LEYS: REDSTART AND MARSH HARRIER

I seem to be on form for finding stuff at the moment. I got off the bus in Great Doddington and walked through the fields, stopping for an unobliging Cettis Warbler and a pair of Red Kites. It was still hazy/misty as I approached the hide before going down the path to the hide I had a quick look over towards the feeding station, nowt. Not sure why but had a quick glance up the side of the fence/gate at the Paul Britain hide and saw this vivid flash of red, was it a Kingfisher, I'd seen them before skimming the hedges here. I saw a Robin and like a numpty ignored it. I'd only been sat in the hide for minutes when everything went up and adjacent to the Pioneer hide on the far side of the scrape was a Marsh Harrier, only ever see them passing through, RECORD SHOT TIME:

That made up for a near empty scrape, water levels are still high. A pair of Little Grebe were calling and fighting amongst themselves in the distant Reed bed. One was chased over towards me. Never seen a Little Grebe skimming along on its stomach. It reminded me of curling but on water. Once I stopped laughing I composed myself and took an image.
A pair of Tufted Ducks came in to land.
As I was panning on this image that vivid orange/red caught my eye, right in front of me and inches away too, no Kingfisher call and then I saw the grey'ish back as it disappeared into the willows on the left of the hide. I could see it was a Redstart. I was cursing, I'd just ignored the bird earlier assuming I'd seen a Robin mind you if I hadn't I would have missed the Harrier. I was getting distant record shots. So I tweeted the report hoping the time killed might bring the bird closer, it hadn't it was moving off up towards the top corner of the scrape. I thought I'd blown it, went up the path looking for it told a couple of other birders passing me. One came back for me, "it's back".
Not so simple it was only briefly showing giving us a flash of red. A Robin was giving it some stick. And even a Blue Tit, hmm I'd voted Blue Tit too, could I take my vote back?
 
 OK they were slightly better then the images I'd got on the bird I found in the Brampton Valley in the Autumn but not brilliant. Though I'd like the next image of it in the Hawthorn.
Others came and went but I stuck it out I'd could see a half decent image coming. I giggled watching a Blue Tit chasing it around over the fence and back again. Finally after an hour and half it popped up before being chased off by the Robin.
It was still present when I left at 3:30pm, the birder who's name I can't remember that came and got me had gone to the screen hide where another bird was, since this bird never left the hide area that makes two birds present...good day, good birds and good company too. Shame about the louzy air quality in the afternoon, did anyone else notice the smog?

14 comments:

  1. Yep, looks like it turned out to be a good day Douglas?...right place, right time for the Marsh Harrier and then your patience paid off for some great shots of that very smart 'Robin'...some days are good days....[;o)

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  2. Cheers Trevor, 99% luck and 1% skill as usual from me lol

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  3. Superb fine Doug, both the Harrier and the Redstart, must pop into Summerleys again as it's been an age.

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    1. To be honest Paul the scrape was dead. If it hadn't been for the redstart and Harrier I wouldn't have a lot to show for my day :-(

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  4. The last shot was well worth the wait. Good to see you having a good day.

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    1. Quite happy with that one, shame about the light or distance on the others

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  5. HI Douglas Tow greatbirds in one day and I amglad you hung arund to get thee shots of the Redstart.

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    1. Cheers Margaret as soon as I saw the redstart I wasn't moving

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  6. And what a fine bird that Redstart is Doug, patience pays, I can never understand birders that come into a hide for five minutes and move on ...... I prefer to stay an hour and see what appears or passes.

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    1. To be fair the birders that were on site stayed a long time too. I've seen birders/photographers do that but for me it's more room for me:-)

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  7. Couple of cracking birds Doug.
    Not seen a Redstart there before. Last shot's a beauty.
    Nice one with the Marsh Harrier too.

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    1. It was a first for me but the reserve had one last Autumn along the old railway line only the third I've managed to photograph in the county. The Harrier was a bonus it's been around since the weekend.

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  8. An absolutely brilliant haul of sightings and images, Doug. Marsh Harrier OR Redstart would have made my day - both would probably have me behaving like a gibbering idiot!

    Looks like we might be in for a good week ahead - best of luck - - - - - - Richard

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    1. I was borderline gibberish wreck Richard. The weather looks promising. Good luck too

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