Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Waxwings at last!

Martin picked me up at 0700 and we made our way into deepest Hampshire to see the Great White Egret at Bickerley Common. As we parked on the Trailway car park I opened the car door and was serenaded by an unmistakeable trill - Waxwings. In somewhat subdued light we located at least three feeding on some berry bushes in an adjacent garden. Brighter weather was slowly coming in from the West so we took some rapid record shots at high ISO and decided to return after the Egret search. Unfortunately we didn't find the GWE but had distant views of the Glossy Ibis and a short visit by a Kingfisher. Water levels are receding in the Avon valley and it may be this that has caused the bird to relocate.

  On returning to the car park the Waxwings were still present and light conditions much improved  allowing us to expend gigabytes worth of pixels on some cracking looking birds. Final count was a definite six, possibly seven.

With spirits up we decided to visit Blashford lakes, after parking up we found the Tern Hide and scanned the lake to find a multitude of ducks and far in the distance three Goosanders, one male and two females. A single Yellow-legged Gull was swimming amongst the ducks but a close scan revealed nothing more exotic. On leaving the hide we had views of a Merlin harassing a Blackbird which in the end was too difficult for the Merlin and on giving up the chase, gave a close fly by. At the main visitor centre we were treated to a short glimpse of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker high up in the trees. Visits to other hides around the lakes gave views of Bramblings, Bittern  and some fairly close Gadwall

At the final count we had spotted 55 species --- all in all a great days birding!

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