Friday, 10 April 2015

Orgreave Lakes

With nothing outstanding anywhere that required any major attention, my focus remained firmly on the patch. I made my way over for 9.00 for another lovely morning in the sun, the only difference from yesterday being that there was a chilly breeze putting an edge on the temperature.
We starting by making up where we had left of yesterday. As soon as I reached the river I heard a Blackcap from the far side of the river, which soon became 2. This time though I managed to get glimpse of them as they moved along the bank. Sadly it was not much and the record shot of this year-tick reflects that. A massive bonus was a Kingfisher that I must have flushed as I descended the bank to get closer to the Blackcaps.
The small lake was quite quiet and I was unable to see any of yesterdays plastic. The usual suspects were all present though but nothing much had changed. Further round it was much the same story. The Little Ringed Plovers had been put up and were not really settling anywhere to get a proper view of them. There were 3 Redshanks moving between the 2 lakes depending on where the dog walkers pushed them.
Over by the rocks the male Wheatear was still present and looking absolutely fantastic in all his glory. This time I set up the scope to try and get some digiscoped shots of him to see how they came out. I think they came out very well, and it certainly allowed me to get probably my best shots ever of the species (Which is my fave!!). What a fantastic bird.
While I was watching the Wheatear I heard a Curlew calling and looked to see it flying overhead, before looping back round and doing the same again. Its the first time I have seen one on the patch this year, and is not a common species here. Its probably the only major difference between today's and yesterdays species count.
I had caught a brief glimpse of at least 2 gyppo geese still from the far bank but they had drifted out of sight. With that in mind it came as a shock when I rounded the point to where I should have been able to see them... and they were not there.
As I continued round though I realised I could not see them as they had taken up on the bank and were merrily feeding on the plains. I approached steadily over around a 15 min period until they were between 10-15 meters away. All the while I was taking snaps of them through the scope. And then horror! A dog walker was coming from behind, and this would undoubtedly push them back into the water. In one sense the dog walker stopped to ask what I had, and had an interest in the birds, but still carried on his way and the birds flew off. Never mind, it was great to still see the plastic around!
-Egyptian Geese
All the digiscoping had given me a thought of trying to upgrade my record shots for a number of common species that I always struggled to get close to, namely Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. I had some fantastic chances with Skylarks but it always flew off at the last second, and the pipits were generally too skulky. I did manage one effort of Meadow Pipit which worked quite well. I reckon I'm getting the hang of this digiscoping lark.
-Meadow Pipit
I finished my walk round and came back to the small lake for a scan before I headed off. I was pretty pleased when I saw the Maned Duck was indeed still present. It had come down to the eastern side of the island and was drinking from the lake. I took a few more shots of it, for even though its totally plastic its still a rather smart looking bird.
-Maned Duck
So it was another lovely morning on the patch with some great species, including yearticking Blackcap. Now why can't soil hill be as productive as this?

Species List:
Orgreave Lakes: Kingfisher, Reed Bunting, Blackcap, Long-Tailed Tit, Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Egyptian Goose, Common Buzzard, Goosander, Herring Gull, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Graylag Goose, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Robin, Dunnock, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Black-Headed Gull, Wheatear, Coot, Moorhen, Great Crested Grebe, Curlew, Magpie, Cormorant, Linnet, Carrion Crow, 

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