Saturday, 31 May 2014

Otmoor RSPB with Turtle Dove

I managed to drag myself into half term after having finished only just over half of my exams. It was a relief, but I had to go straight back into revising, so I was left with my spirits completely shattered and I was bored out of my wits. But then I managed to make a deal with my mum and she took me to Otmoor RSPB. A large expanse of amazing habitat for hundreds of different species of birds, butterflies and more. We arrived on the reserve and we instantly picked up the soft purr of a Turtle Dove. It didn't take long before I had seen my first one in an odd place, the marsh, where I was initially looking for the long staying Glossy Ibis. Shortly after I managed to locate the Glossy Ibis as well, it was hidden very well behind long distracting tufts of grass. It proved very elusive over the few hours I was there and only came out for a minute or so before being pushed back into the undergrowth by a Little Egret.

Once I had seen the Glossy Ibis I heard a commotion from the surrounding trees of the reserve and three Cuckoos flew out chasing each other, they put on a great display before going back into the trees. This happened a number of times before I moved on to get better views of the Turtle Doves. Since I had seen the three key species I had hoped to see I spent the next few hours watching the Turtle Doves. The seemed obliging at first and showed nicely, however they never showed properly without any distractions in front of them which proved a problem for photography. But persistence paid off after a while and I managed to rattle off a few decent pictures of one perched on a branch. Because of its "elusive" nature I mainly focused on filming it rather than photographing it.

Monday, 5 May 2014

A day out of the ordinary

As I have mentioned in many of my blog post I have my GCSE's coming up. Infact they are starting this week. However, today had a strange turn of events. I had planned to do more revision, but when a sighting of a possible Lesser Yellowlegs at College Lake was reported I almost fell of my chair. This is an absolute MEGA inland. My pessimistic side got the better of me and decided it would probably turn out to be nothing more than a Redshank or something of that sort. Later that day a full report was released and there was no more possible or probable about it. This was great news so I rounded my mum and dad up and "asked" them to give me a lift to Tring. In the car I could hardly contain myself and I was bouncing around longing to get to College Lake. We eventually made it there and I sprinted out the car onto the reserve. I lifted up my binoculars and there it was, a little distant, but easily visible from the reserve entrance. I followed the bird around a little trying to anticipate its moves, where it might go, occasionally getting it right. A group of birders and I managed to find the birds favorite feeding point and we managed to get some absolutely cracking views.

Lesser Yellowlegs (as you had probably guessed)

Even though it was harassed by a Lapwing each time it came to the point, it was determined to feed from that particular area of marshland. Along the way I managed to pick up and spot a few other goodies, which included: Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Turnstone, Swift, Sand Martin and a fly over Hobby which made a few passes.