Saturday, 22 February 2014

Rail-tastic

A beautiful day, almost a feel of spring in the air. Got down to Maple Lodge just after 7.15 with bird song all around and the trees just starting to show green.
The floods of the last few weeks seem to have subsided somewhat and the path down to Teal hide is now a path not a stream....
Not too much around on Lynster's field this week, even without the wildfowlers but I did pick up 3 grey wagtails, or possibly 4, coming off our lake and flying over towards Lynsters. I've been after grey wagtails for the last couple of weeks as i needed them for my year list, which is now up to 152!!
I then hot-footed round to Rotunda, as the sun was shining bright and water rails and Cetti's warblers are being seen regularly from there. I only had to wait about a minute for the Cetti's to burst into song, and about 5 minutes for a water rail to come out onto the marshy area and start feeding. Over the next 30 minutes or so both were regularly in view (and song/call) together with a reed bunting on the bird table and a green woodpecker on the grassy area.
I managed to get a quite nice sequence of shots of the water rail despite it being a bit skulky and mainly staying in the shady area.




Photos of the Cetti's were, as ever, more problematical as it rarely showed well or for very long, but i think patience and a slightly longer lens than 300mm could get something worth keeping.

 Finally, later i the morning the geese popped back to Lynsters' along with the mini-goose, the lesser Canada or cackling goose. This shot shows the marked size difference between the two species...