Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Oct 14th Strumpshaw Fen

Double rainbow over Strumpshaw Fen
I wish the weather would make its mind up today. One minute it is raining heavily and the next it is bright and sunny. But this is just a typical British autumnal day. This constant switching between weather was creating the perfect conditions for rainbows. There was a double rainbow at one point.  They were a real highlight, if only I could say the same for the heavy downpours.

A second rainbow a couple of hours later
Marsh Harrier
There was a break in the weather before I could start my shift this morning, so I made a short visit to Fen Hide. The sound of bearded tits between walks to and from the hide erupted like an audible firework show in a chorus of many pinging calls. Once I arrived to the hide, though, the calls became silent. From the hide, a marsh harrier hid amongst the leaves of a small bush from the crows that had been mobbing it, a cormorant stretched out its wings to dry and a large skien of greylag geese flew over the reserve with a few white individuals standing out amongst them. I am also convinced that I have heard and seen a flock of redwings this morning.

Candlesnuff Fungi
Female Reed Bunting
Pheasant on a bench
Greylag Geese
From Reception Hide, a bittern popped out from the reedbed on my far right to fly into the reedbed at the back behind the reedy islands. Moments later, it reappeared from that spot and made a long flight for a few visitors across the reserve, flying eastwards before vanishing behind some birch trees. As the morning went on, I managed to see another two bitterns, with one of them sneaking into the closest reedbed to us almost undetected. The kingfisher was also a bit sneaky today. I could hear the high pitched whistles which signaled me to scan the usual places for it. But I could not find it. I took my binoculars away from my face and there it was hovering close to the hide. It was under my nose this whole time! They remind me of hummingbirds when they hover in place in the air like that, but they keep moving as soon as I point my camera at them. I will get my shot of a hovering kingfisher one day, you'll see.

Mute Swan
Little Grebe
Grey Heron
Muntjac Deer
While waiting for my train home in the rain, the wooded bank adjacent to the station had two muntjac deer and a grey squirrel busy foraging for food on it. They didn't mind the rush of a passing train or me and this other man snapping away with our cameras from the station. It was almost a peaceful scene as the two non-native species carried on with feeding with the sound of the downpour thundering around us, until a van caused them to scarper as it drove into the station's car park.

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