Monday, 28 February 2011

It's Been A While....or...Don't Delete Me Roger!

My 'get up and go' seems to have got up and gone of late, resulting in me not doing much birding and therefore not doing any blogging either. I'm just getting a touch of the winter blues. Fed up of the cold I suppose. You may be surprised to here I haven't been anywhere near Chipping Norton, the 'dove from above' just doesn't appeal to me...perhaps I'm cured? Or perhaps it's just a symptom of my general malaise? No. I'm definitely cured...'til next time anyway!

There are some nice birds on patch at the moment but they're the same ones that have been around for weeks, therefore I decided to go over to Exeter to look for the Bittern/s that have been showing well recently at the Double Locks Wetland/Countess Weir Pools/Riverside Valley Park, or whatever it's actually called! When I arrived there were already a couple of Devon birders present, with several more arriving later. One of whom threatened to delete my blog from his favourites if I didn't update it soon, ( I aim to please Roger). There were indeed two Bitterns. We saw one in flight and while we were intently looking at the area where it landed another bird suddenly appeared from the opposite direction. It was walking along the edge of the pool right out in the open but only for about 20 seconds or so, which was just long enough for me to get my scope on it and my camera in position... shame I had it on the wrong settings ( after taking night-time shots in London last week). Doh! Not to worry though, it did stay in view just inside the reeds for several minutes as it circumnavigated the pool, so I managed to get a couple of shots of it partially obscured. It appeared out in the open again all too briefly before flying out of sight. It didn't show again before hunger and cold forced me to head for home.

 Can you see a Bittern?... Thought not. It is there though.

These were only my third ever views of a Bittern on the ground.
Definitely cheered me up. Glad I went.

Once I'd had a spot of lunch and warmed up a bit I popped out on the patch to look at some of the local goodies. The Bewick's Swan was still near Steadcombe House, I was going to take a photo but it was standing right next to the corpse of a young Mute Swan. So not surprisingly I decided to give it a miss. I moved on to Seaton Hole to have a look at the Velvet Scoter flock, there are apparently twelve of them, but I could only see six today. They always have an attending group of young Herring Gulls, mopping up the leftovers I imagine. Even though they were too distant to digiscope I had a stab at it. I like a challenge. You can tell what they are...

...Can't you? 
Flapping helps.

While I was at Seaton Hole it would have been discourteous to have not paid a quick visit to 'The Handsome One' . He was on his favourite rock again, he's such a show off! Sorry for more of the same but I can't see enough of him...


7 comments:

Roger Treeby said...

I only said I may have to delete you from my Bookmarks Tool Bar Karen. not from my Bookmarks (I use Mozilla not IE). With Spring on its way though hopefully you will have plenty to write about soon.
The Bittern showed very well again shortly after you left.

Karen Woolley said...

Only joking Roger! :-) Although I'm honoured to be on your Bookmark toolbar

Roger Treeby said...

So was I and so you should be. Only joking Karen I still think yours is one of the top three blogs on the internet.

Bennyboymothman said...

Nice to have you back Karen, it has been awhile! but alas haven't deleted you off!
Thanks for a good read as usual from you

Skev said...

Love the middle Black Redstart photo - such a cracking species I agree you can't see too much of them.

Birding Ecosse said...

can you send my Velvet Scoters back please! We usually have heaps up here but so far not a snifter in 2011!

Karen Woolley said...

Thanks Guys! :-) I'm so pleased to hear that people enjoy my efforts.

Dave...I'm sure they think they're in Scotland...It's been cold enough here lately!