Monday, 29 August 2011

29 August 2011

A Grey Day

The morning started off quite cloudy, then some sunshine before becoming overcast and grey. But at West Acre is was also the birds that were grey...with the arrival of a Grey Wagtail, surely one of the top birds in the elegant birds list. It didn't stay long and it didn't come close but was worth a shot just because it was a Grey Wagtail.
Thereafter a brief bit of excitement as Steve Durrant and Eddie saw a Hobby but it was just too quick and so a vain attempt at a distant Kestrel. I won't be doing that again.
Back on the water and the Black-headed Gulls were bathing and drinking. Here a comparison between first year immature and winter adults.
and needs no introduction....another blooming Green Sand !
I love them really, sad to think that in just a few weeks time the hide will be closed to all, as essential maintenance work takes place, which we are led to believe will last a good few years reason therefore for anyone to visit except those few locals who wish to keep an eye on the restoration work. Rumour has it that it'll be replaced with a temporary structure, with no protection from the vicious and extremely poisonous snakes (large snakes) that roam the area.

Once again I repeat my warning - this place is best left alone.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

A Tick !!!

27 August 2011

An early (ish) morning walk through the wood to West Acre scrape and it was really quite dark, then a shaft of sunlight lit up this Fly Agaric by the side of the track. There followed a frantic changing of lenses and a drop to the ground (not because I thought it would fly off, but worried the sunlight would go!) , very wet ground at that, and I have to say it looked  rather fantastic in the surrounding gloom.
To the hide and on opening the flap, yup there was a Green Sandpiper, so there follows the usual compilation..........
 continuing on from the reflections theme... and below showing the beautifully intricate underwing     barring..
 and pic below, the characteristic give away flight id features of dark underwing and white rump - though I guess it could be confused with a House Martin ? - must look that up.
Everything flew off and I expected a large bird of prey to float over, but nothing and as usual the Kingfisher stick was empty
But wait, a piercing cry and there he was, in a bush (too far away!!) , and that's where he stayed no matter how many stickleback noises I imitated from the hide. Great to watch though as he fished for some twenty minutes, then a flash of colour and gone. One day on that day..
I left and drove home but en route added a life tick, a weird but clearly very efficient melon/squash organising machine - new for me.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


25 August 2011 - pm

A early evening visit to West Acre after work, a bit of sunshine and the Green Sandpipers were obliging....some even had did I sat in the hide, on my own as usual, (too expensive to hire the key remember) watching three Green Sandpipers fly around the pool. Then a male Redstart being mobbed by a clump (or whatever the collective name is for them)  of Chiffchaffs. As I pondered, I snapped away at these lovely waders. So here some pics of the Green Sands of West Acre......

This pool has had these birds, plus three others, for many months now - fantastic and how long will they stay ? It's a great feeling to open the flap of the hide and see these birds. Other usual suspects were there including a Moorhen having a dip
 then looking a bit more like a real Moorhen, oh yes and reflecting...
on leaving I was once again treated to a Hobby attack. Again too quick but shot directly into the sun so this pic over exposed in order to just see his "red trousers" . I am considering entering this for the worst photograph of a Hobby ever taken, and if that doesn't win then I'll go for worst Swallow pic !
Remember, stay away from West Acre !!!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Four of 'em.... at least !

Sunday 7 August

A long overdue visit to Tallent's Meadow at West Acre and on opening the hide flap I was greeted by some fairly grumpy looking Egyptian Geese.
Funny looking things really
and occasionally giving the odd, and I mean odd, aggressive posture
After dismissing such escaped convicts I searched around the pool for other, more "real" birds. And there it was a Green Sandpiper, excellent, happily feeding away, and hang on, in the distance behind ...another wader...which was another Green Sand, and then another ! In the end at least four birds and possibly a fifth which I saw fleetingly but couldn't be certain it was an extra...
wonderful though...

I watched these birds for a good couple of hours, feeding actively (the birds that is), having a rest then feeding again. I can't recall having seen this number on such a small area before. And at this point I would like to remind anyone wishing to visit West Acre Scrape that the estate have installed new retina  scans for the hide, so the key isn't enough ! Please heed my previous advice to leave the place well alone. After all the Kingfisher is supposed to sit on this post in front of the hide, well it never does.
So time to leave, as just as I did this immature Hobby flew past the hide with barely enough time for me to lift the camera as it shot past in nano seconds. A pleasant couple of hours on a sunday morning