Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Shropshire Day 3-Part 1

Day 3, and another cloudless sky. That doesnt mean that it was warm though. Since it was such a nice day, we decided to go for a riverside walk at a special national trust car park nowhere near any kind of settlement.
After travelling all the way over the river on the train yesterday we recognised the great big water treatment plant that stretched across the river like an ugly monster. Since the weather was so good I was secretly hoping that I might find a migrant hawker.
We saw very little until we made it upstream of the water treatment plant, and then there was plenty of wildlife, First was a blue tit, hunting on the plant itself, and then a raven flew overhead from upstream over us and into the woods to our right. As you walk upstream we were on the right side of the river headed that way, and there were woods to our direction where there were sounds of phesants and other birds.

slightly furthur on and we found our first wildfowl. Granted, it was only canada geese, with a graylag in tow, but there were a couple of interesting variations and abbarents in the flock, which attracted my attention, although they are more likely domestic birds.

-Canada geese
we decided that when we reached the stile at the end of the current feild then we would turn back, due to a frustrating lack of river wildlife. Most of the interesting birds seemed to be passing us by, like this cormorant flying over head.

Walking back proved to be far more fruitful than walking up. Even though we were walking the same stretch of river. The first thing we saw was a flock of long-tailed tits in the willow, quite close, offering great views

-Long tailed tit
Dont ask why the bottom half of the above photo is as it is, I diddnt take it like that and it certainly isnt like that in real life. As I was wrapping up with the long-tailed tits my brother called me to say that he had found a dragonfly. I hurried over to find a red male common darter resting on a dock leaf. It diddnt seem to care that we were watching it, it just perched there, so I got down and tried to get some photos.

-Common Darter
It was whilst I was watching the Dragonfly that a kingfisher flew upstream towards us and looped round to land in a willow, not 20m away, and on the same side of the river as me. Allowing me a great oppertunity to take photos of kingfisher, which is a really nice bird. However the bird only stuck around for a few seconds before continuing upstream.

I turned my attention back to the dragonfly, but it seemed to have woken up a bit more and started moving downstream it small steps. luckily I could easily keep up with it, allowing me to get some photos of this october dragonfly.

-Common Darter
I eventually left the darter in peace to try and catch up with my family, who had probably back at the car by now. On the way i spotted a few buzzards flying low in the sky. They were out because of the thermals so it was easy for them to rise up out of the forest. Either way it was a good thing because it allowed me to get great views of this stunning predators.

-Common Buzzard
For a few minuets the air was filled with birds, woodpigeons, crows and buzzards, but it all quietened down pretty quick, so i carried on walking back towards the car. I walked along the river edge hoping to maybe flush other kinds of dragonflies. I managed to find a couple of other darters, allcommon, although only one satyed still, that being an old specemin given the darkness of its exo-skeleton!

-Old Common Darter

So that finished the early morning walk, though there was still plenty of the day to go, and it got even better than that. This was just the beginning...

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