Friday, 28 February 2014

Poland part 2

The second day...continued
this should have been a seamless post but for some reason the blog site kicked me out and before I had time to check the post, also a problem with upload quality of previous pictures (well that's my excuse). So to finish our last day in Poland. A clearish sky developed around 3pm so I suggest a trip back to the concrete road part of the reserve hoping for a nice sunset.

Poland February 2014

A Wildfowl Wonderland
Half Term provided us with both the excuse and time to zip over to the house in Poland with the main aim being to liase with the estate agents on how to put our house up for sale. This took a full day out of our three day stay but the remaining two days allowed for some birding amid the usual domestic duties. We were lucky with the weather, no rain but of course being February predominantly greyish skies with some blue intervals. It was cold but not Polish cold, similar to UK at around 3 - 8 degrees C during the day.

I was expecting the main reserve to be completely flooded and the concrete road to be impassable. I can't remember ever before being able to get down this road at this time of year so it was remarkably dry, in stark contrast to the UK's flooding problems
 The usual suspects were hanging around the field edges - Hooded Crow
By the main river in the adjacent flooded fields were hundreds of Whooper Swans.
Out on the main stretch of the reserve were thousands of Geese, Greylag Gees, Bean Geese and White-fronted Geese. All the time there were hundred of Geese in the air, these White-fronts dropping in 

 A Bean Goose in among these White-fronts

and of course the main contenders Grey lag Geese
Goldeneyes were on the river approach and also on the main reserve 
 as were groups of twenty plus Great White Egrets, a total count of 237 in all.
and as it came to dusk some small groups of Goosanders flew in to roost
Some blue skies but as the day came to a close the temperatures dropped and the icy patches gave a truer feeling of the real temperature.

Day two: and a trip around the southern side of the reserve had me tumbling out of the car at high speed as a White-tailed Eagle flew overhead. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough and this enormous raptor was already directly over me as I got out. A few seconds earlier and I would have had head on views.

A short walk in search of Beaver drew a blank and an area that was previously really good for woodland birds had been cleared, so much so that I don't think it will revive for the spring - just a lonely Penduline Tit's nest from the previous year evidence to it's former glory.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sunlight required

Birds in woodland shade
It's amazing the difference that good light can make to photography and I just knew that when I started taking these pics at just an 80th of a second with a high ISO that they would be soft. Still it was a nice diversion for a couple of hours to have some quiet birding and photography - I didn't see another person, rare in birdwatcher crowded Norfolk.

In the woods then, Bramblings, Bullfinches, Water Rail (woodland edge)  and Reed Buntings.