Monday, 23 November 2009

martin mere for the bird fair

it took persuasion for my dad to bring me here but in the end it paid off and here we where at 9.30 in the morning over the border at martin mere. i was quite keen to see the PFG as i had never seen one roosted before but sadly all those that were roosted were far out. the bird fair was a collection of bookshops and outdoor shops for birdwatchers to look at. my family went off to a dragonfly talk and i went round to reserve. at the first hide there were plenty of swans and, to my delight, pintails. the last time i saw these was a norfolk weekend before this blog had even started (although not long before). they were feeding just outside the hide with some graylag geese. what also surprised me were the numbers of shellducks. there were loads in comparison to calaverock (2). as i travelled up the hides i saw these birds plus some winter ruff (also not seen since norfolk), wigeon, teal and various other wildfowl. when i reached the top hide there were a number of people (twitchers) crowding along the right hand side of the hide. i overheard snippits of conversation and from that gathered that a red-breasted goose was out with the barnacles (although knowing that barncales were there was enough to impress me). i sat down but having not brought the scope, only cmera and bins, i was at the mercy of the other twitchers to let me see it. as it happened the RBG was not the first rare goose to turn up in the flock of barnacles but a lesser canada goose. somebody kindly let me have a look through their scope and i was impressed by the size and coulor of the bird. it was quite impressive. not five minuets later the RBG came out and cause another stir. somebody also let me look but to be frank once i had seen it, without a scope, there was no point staying so diddnt. i woul;d get the scope at lunch and see them then. on the way back down i stopped off at the hides and saw my first pochard of the year. there were also some splendid goldeneyes fishing as well as the PFG flying overhead. at lunch i got the scope and returned tot he hide. the stir had ceasedleaving only 2 twitchers who i got quite chatty with. one said that the RBG was probably an escape but that people were ticking the lesser canada goose. finally i had got my first vagrent. i could now watch (although neither showed for some time). finally the RBG came out and cause a stir. everone found it except me and once i did a crow attacked it andi was lost. we then started to look for the lesser canada. it turned up and we were delighted to watch it. the RBG also turned up about 10 mins later. unfortunatly i had to leave if i wnated to catch the starling roost, but it was still stunning to see and the icing on the cake for a brilliant day.

the birds that made the reserve famous-pink footed geese

goldeneye male -stunning bird

large numbers of wigeon

as i said, the numbers of shelducks were extrodinary

only 3 teal were seen today

cracking view of the long tailed tits
tree sparrows- iconic of reserves like such

our old favourites the whooper swans

this is wizzy the young beaver. he was rejected by his family but only put on display for 12-2

they call these "gooders" an eider/goosander cross. they were stunning birdsand one the best birds seen today

a moorhen fight scene-in chronolgical order

a winter ruff. the photos are the best i have ever had off a wader

the pintails were the star birds of the day

as you can see on the last photos the starling roost did take place although because of the rain it wasnt as spectacular as it was meant to be. i was stood by the otter enclosure where they roosted and so could see the starlings funneling in creating a noise like a river. eventually the light became too low and i headed inside. i bought a book, which set me back a wallet busting £30.
overall it was a smashing day and the geese were just stunning. i read on birdguides not an hour before the time of wrighting and they have labelled the RBG as an escape. unfortunatly nobody has posted the Lesser canada so i cannot tell you for sure. personally i have ticked it.

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