Saturday, 19 October 2013

A scot'ish theme

As with the last post one never knows what passes through the reserve unseen.  Trail cameras are handy for keeping tabs on unseen visitors like the jack snipe which were certainly still present to Thursday - thanks to Roy Vincent for these great shots of one in the South Marsh East channel:
And Roy Lyon:
However advances in technology now show us visiting birds that we never saw or photographed.  A project led by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage has been underway to track Scotland's small population of taiga bean geese which overwinter on the Slamannan Plateau - details here - using GPS transmitters.  Bird no07 was tagged in October last year and has been monitored on its breeding grounds in Sweden over Summer.  The Angus' Bean goose blog (not be confused with Tophill Low's Angus McBean!) is a great site that shows Tag07's return across the North Sea on last weeks strong north easterly winds (maps credited to the Angus Bean goose blog):
Most interesting though is that the bird put down on what appears to be Watton Nature Reserve, before moving west across York:
Read on the blog and you'll now see tag07 has made it back up to the Slamannan Plateau safe and sound.  All interesting stuff; much has been made in the press recently about getting kids outdoors and enjoying nature - perhaps this is the way we're going - we'll just be birding via the internet and computer screen in future!  Hopefully reversing this were our efforts with the RSPB Wildlife explorers building habitat piles last week (Margaret Boyd):
Keep checking out the feral greylag flock for more tasty nuggets (Roy Vincent)
Up to 21 pink feet amongst them so far on Watton (Roy Lyon):
The easterly winds also blew in two common scoters - a female last weekend on D and a drake on O on Tuesday and Wednesday as photographed by Tony Robinson on Michael Flowers's birdwatching course:
We now have Michael's 2014 wildlife calendars in stock priced at £8 - see a Warden to purchase.  Up to 11 whoopers have been present on and off; with a single bird present daily on D res or Decoy Fields (Roy V):
The gull roost is building in numbers now - impressive sights nightly on D res - Roy V:
And Roy L:
John Coish:
Just beware of jokers in the pack like this leucistic common gull (RL):
Also on the res last weekend was the female scaup (Roy L):
With gathering goldeneye RL:
And great crested grebes finding a few tasty morsels (RV):
Brambling in D woods RL:
Seeing off the last few summer migrants like this blackcap RL:
As no doubt was this sparrowhawk in the gardens by Michelle, Paul and Oscar:
Couple of grey wagtails on the wall by John Coish:
The best of the weeks rest included a couple of green sandpipers on South Marsh East on Tuesday
Great white egret on Hempholme Meadow on Thursday lunchtime
Cetti's warbler calling at South Lagoon and South Marsh West
Black-tailed godwit on Watton NR Thursday
Water Rail; two on South Marsh West and also North Marsh like this one by Bruce Pillinger:
Also on North Marsh a stoat by Brian Colley:
And if you look closely the weird and wonderful; lacewing larvae by Doug Fairweather.  Heavily camouflaged in a collection of prey remains and detritus they obscure its impressive jaws from prey:
Different indeed from the majestic adult!  Also impressive predators seeing their days out in the sun - migrant hawker and common darter (JC):
And the last few butterflies - red admiral (JC):
Next week we have the reserve open meeting at 2:30pm on Sunday - a recap of a successful summer of marsh harriers, cetti's warblers and little ringed plovers, with news on new otter holts and cattle grazing this winter - all welcome.