Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas greenery

Highlight of the last weekend has been a green-winged teal on Watton NR found on Sunday and still present this afternoon – thanks to HVWG for this shot:

Obviously the main thing you're looking for is that vertical stripe on the flank -for more info on the subtleties of picking this out from a standard eurasian teal see here. As far as I am aware finder credit goes to Lee Johnson – well done.

The other highlight has been the glaucous gull, which after wowing us turning up twice in a month has now shown every night up to this evening on D res – thanks to HVWG for the pic:

(correctly identified as ‘the big white blob immediately behind the great black backed gull in the centre of the shot). Martin too has more from Sunday here.

A lone lesser black-backed gull was also in on Sunday – but is set against a general downturn in numbers of black-headed gulls over the last few days.

If we can be rude enough to dismiss them as ‘the usual,’ the short-eared owls have still been showing at Hempholme – generally two daily up to and including today. Likewise the seemingly sedentary eurasian white-fronted goose flock are still present (between 60-90 daily) along with their greenland pal.

A step down again and ‘just’ the red-head smew has been seen on Watton as usual; where Tony McLean got this unusal perspective:

and in the scheme of things a brambling with 4 siskin in the car park and lagoons area barley credit a mention.

Obviously a great range for your new years day year list; however – please note that due to unforeseen circumstances we have had to cancel the Warden led walk that day. The reserve will be open as normal, and likely our team will be on hand to point people in the right direction – apologies.

As an alternative if you do fancy starting the year in a good way though, then why not offer your skills to benefit the BTO:

Volunteers Wanted
The BBS is the most important annual survey the BTO undertakes and we need volunteers who are prepared to survey a square over a number of years so they can really get a feel about changing local bird populations and contribute to our knowledge of the national picture too.

Could you spare 2 mornings in April and May every year?
Can you identify birds by sight and sound?
Are you prepared to travel to a location?
Are you prepared to commit to doing the survey work?

If yes:
There will be Free BBS Training Days on:

Thursday 26th January at Waters Edge, Barton on Humber
Saturday 28th January at Top Hill Low

The training will be very practical, based on doing rather than listening and last from 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.

If you have any questions or to book a place email
Note Places are limited and will be initially open to new BBS surveyors only

Finally – at last we can show you some of Tony Simpson’s results from long hours in North Marsh; whether this is a good idea on the fox’s part is debatable – as messing about on ice for anyone is a stupid idea…