Friday, 13 March 2015

Sculthorpe Moor NR

Thursday March 12

Time for some R and R after 4 days of gardening (not a lot after a winter of inactivity). Good to be out and about again in very pleasant weather. Pottering in the garden also adds to the bird list. Green Woodpecker yaffling, Great Spotted drumming, with the constant accompaniment of the very repetitive and amorous Dunnock 'song'.
Arriving at Sculthorpe Moor was good - and bad. A farmer was muck spreading in the field adjacent to the car park. I don't mind a good old manure smell, but....... this was a stinking, nose and sinus clearing, head filling stench. The car smelt all the way home and the following day, despite attempts to air it. A very strong and gusting headwind too, as we walked down to start the boardwalk trails.
Achieving the shelter of the woods, we walked directly to Whitley Hide, as far away from the muck as was possible, with a cursory look for elf cap fungus en route. Marsh Tit at the workshop feeders now protected by a viewing screen but very few birds until we got to the hide.
Taking a rest on the Ray Rowle (?) seat , hoping to see a Goshawk over the open ground across the river, the distinctive call of our first Chiffchaff came from the woods behind us. Very short as though practising at first, it warmed up a bit without achieving its ringing best.
Opening the Whitley shutters was a revelation. I knew that work had been in progress but, was not prepared for the very different view. Instead of an extensive reed-bed, it looks like this.

I can't see that the Water Rail is going to visit the very open feeders on the right any more.
We stayed and hour and more photographing the constant whirl of birds coming to the feeder table and onto the ground below. I prefer to photograph birds in the trees/reeds/shrubs etc,  all I took were obscured by twigs or, out of focus, for the automatic setting. I tried manual focusing but positions changed so quickly, making that a no go too.
It was all very enjoyable though, here are a few results. I'm not happy with any of the 'in and out' Nuthatch but I love the bird.

Male Bullfinch and one of the 9+ Reed Buntings coming to feed

Aggressive Nuthatch, wary male Chaffinch

Collared Dove

Dunnock at the entrance to the mouse track hole

Female Bullfinch

As I photographed a male Pheasant glowing in the flew

Long-tailed Tit

Male Bullfinch, so beautiful

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