Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Sep 9th Strumpshaw Fen

Cobber the Black Swan
I opened the door to the Fen Hide this morning and past the crowd of photographers and through the hide's window, the sight and sound of a green sandpiper flying away with a flash of its white rear end leaving the scene as it yodels its piping call made a great start to my day. I had barely stepped inside and the birds were already up and about, performing to its audience. Herons, cormorants, kingfishers shovelers, mallards, teal, gadwall, greylags and marsh harriers were all either in the air or by the pool in front of the hide. Three snipe joined them, flying in with their long bills easily noticeable as they hang out while in flight. The soundscape at the hide this morning was full of pinging calls of probably over 50 bearded tits combined with the pig screeching calls of water rails hidden somewhere in the surrounding reedbeds.
Grey Heron
Male Marsh Harrier
Female Shoveler

On my return to Reception Hide, along the wooden border was a lizard, a common darter and a colony of foraging ants. No water shrew this week.

Common Lizard
Common Darter
Kingfisher at Reception Hide
At Reception Hide, it was a very kingfisher kind of morning. We had up to two at a time visiting the perches around the lake in front of the hide, though only one kept coming back more frequently. They seemed to favour the reedbed to the left side of the broad, but we did have one posing on one of the fish refuges nearer to us and I managed to get a few clearer shots of it. At one point they came even closer as they decided to chase one another around the whole of the lake from just a few metres from the hide's windows to the far channels connecting to the main lake. They whizzed past as a pair of electric blue blurs and high pitched whistled calls.

Two (distant) Kingfishers together
Marsh Harriers
The marsh harriers were also performing well today. I watched a pair, male and female, chase each other in the air. It was less agressive than that of the kingfishers and seemed more like a sky dance, which is unusual for this time of year. Also about today was a kestrel hovering above the tree line a few times and a bittern popped from out of the far reedbed at the back of the lake, flying left before plunging down at Fen Hide.

Red Admiral
Another Red Admiral

1 comment:

  1. Great blog Sean. Nice meeting you on the train earlier today. Keep up the good work.