Saturday, 6 December 2014

Tundra Bean Goose

Following a posting on SOS by Paul James, I found myself out birding on a Saturday - truly a rare event. Even rarer, up in a clear blue sky the sun was trying its best to warm up a frozen Adur landscape. I parked the car at Cuckoo Corner and walked the short distance to the river, I didn't really expect the bird to be about still. Total amazement, as I looked up river the Tundra Bean Goose was paddling upstream on the incoming tide. Panic set in as I mounted the camera on the tripod, I had  put the rig in the car in the same condition as I used to photograph the moon the previous night. Well, manual mode, ISO 100, F16, manual focus and mirror lock up in operation were not ideal for getting a record shot of a year tick. By the time I had sorted myself out the bird had swum some distance and clambered up on to the bank. Within a minute it had been flushed by a dog walker and had relocated some way down river, adjacent to the A27 flyover.  Why on earth this bird has remained here on its own is a bit of a mystery, constantly harassed by dog walkers, canoeists and even the target of two hungry foxes. It would be much better off in a flock of Canadas or Greylags.

Anyway, it finally settled on the far bank opposite the sailing club, where it posed for me, albeit up sun and at a distance.

Buoyed up by early success I decided to spend the rest of the day at the North Wall. I was surprised how few birders were about, only three cars parked in the lane and a solitary birder in the form of Ian, actually on the wall. It never got busy throughout the day and most of the time I had the place to myself. Nice to meet Adrian and later in the afternoon, Trevor, the eternal optimist, searching for another perfect Kingfisher shot in the fading afternoon light. 

On Breech Pool all the usual suspects were present,  Ian had counted 21 Common Snipe - they seemed to be everywhere. Water Rails were happy to show themselves, at least four coming out of the reeds and I reckon a count of 8 wouldn't be far off the mark. A Water Vole  showed in the sluice, albeit briefly ,as it crossed the stream twice.  A second sighting proved, on subsequent analysis of the hurriedly taken photographs, to be a Brown Rat. Oddly swimming from the sea side of the wall and taking refuge in the rocks.

Why do they always choose an "industrial" setting?
The upturned tail is indicative of future action.....

...."Projectile Pooing"

A Minnow's last view of the world

Last shot of  the day

Oh, this is the result of my efforts on photographing the moon, it might not be perfect but I quite like it. 


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