Monday, 17 October 2016

Big Waters 16 October 2016 - Lots of Deer

Arrived at Big Waters a bit late and Alan J and Ian D had already departed so I headed round to Brighton (Brunswick) Beach to wait for them where there were lots of birds just chilling in the Autumn Sunshine.  Alan and Ian arrived and the first counting started and the most surprising fact for me was that there were 25 Adult Swans and 12 youngsters.  After all the counts finished 3 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Little Grebes, 3 Shoveller, 2 Pintail, 10 Cormorant, 94 Coot, lots of Wigeon, 11 Tufted, Bucketfulls (the non-technical term) of Gulls, ? Teal (forgot the total), a handful of Gadwall and the lonely Grey Heron.  Probably missed out a few but didn't go the main hide as it was hissing down and I didn't have a waterproof so skedaddled to the Car Park.  On  the walk round we saw Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Treecreeper, Grey Wagtails, Redwing, Siskin and Chiffchaff and after I left 24 Snipe put in an appearance,  Many other regulars were also seen.  We did the Short Walk which was lucky as we just got back to the first hide before it started raining.  There were 8 Deer in one of fields also.  A really good walk with some great views of wildlife although on the downside there were a lot of bikes without bells (was nearly taken out twice) and lots of dogs not on leashes which adopted aggressive stances when you were in confined spaces, with the owner, in some cases shouting, but the dogs were completely ignoring them and having been the victim of 2 Dog Attacks, one of them quite serious, I feel that something must be done.  Anyway here are a few pictures of the wander round and the inevitable video.

Great view from the Public End
 Tremendous Autumn Colours

Plenty of cows keeping the grass short and creating some lovely mud patches
 Lots of Deer

 "Look a Jay", points camera at where Alan is looking and press the button twice
This photography lark is easy 
The Chilling Beach
 Haven't seen one on the tree for a while
Too full of fish to hunt anymore

Inevitably the Video


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Big Waters and Howdon Wetlands October 2016

Naughty me, haven't done a blog for nearly a month (hooray, I hear you all shout) but have again been extremely busy.  Just did 3 trips to Big Waters for normal Sunday Wander and at least 5 trips to Howdon whilst Colin B was away.  Nothing extraordinary to report but really enjoyed the wanders around Big Waters with the guys and the complete opposite at Howdon Wetlands of peace and quiet with not another human seen or voice heard.  Just sitting there watching up to 20+ Herons taking in the rays, 50+ Curlews wandering around, the ever increasing Teal numbers, occasional braces of Snipe whizzing around and much more.  At Big Waters you go on a bad day and see some great stuff and on a day when you should see things there is nothing there but there is always the company and inevitably you eventually see something.  Last Sunday was such a day, very quiet then when we got to the hide there were 3 Great Crested Grebe, Shoveller and plenty of other wildfowl with loads of Gulls then (of course) Alan J picked up a Med Gull in the middle of many gulls just bobbing around.  Anyway here are a few pictures and a short video of the last few trips out

Big Waters Main Hide on a glorious day
 Grey Heron patiently waiting for his opportunity
Love it when the Canadas arrive, lots of vocalizing
 The gorgeous Mallards
Bike Riders with no bells and Dog Owners with no Leads
Both are equally as dangerous
Then the Big Boys arrived
 Lots of Swan on Swan action
 Med Gull departing from Big Waters
 "Thats Right, there IS a bloody Sparrowhawk behind us"
 Migrant Hawker (I Believe)
Just some of the Curlews at Howdon Wetlands
 ...but there is always a Billy No Mates
Look closely at the White Blobs which are Grey Herons
...and even more on the island
 Elevenses yum yum
Finally a short video showing Med Gull at Big Waters, Teal at Howdon Wetlands
and a lot of Gulls trying to feed on a flock of small fish which a few Cormorants
are snacking on