Sunday, March 30, 2008

(not) Spring 08 holiday, day 1, part 1

Day one of our planned east coast holiday, and we started by heading to Rutland Water. The day was very overcast and also very windy, so a disappointing start weather-wise, little did we know how much of a theme the weather would become!

There was nothing unusual around but we did get very good views of the more common ducks, including this Gadwall drake:














This pair of Shoveller ducks appeared to be undergoing some kind of pair-bonding, putting their heads underwater then paddling around in a joined-up circle:













Later this drake had a good old scratch:












I have lightened the three photos above using the camera exposure compensation feature of the camera software - I don't have a copy of photoshop. For the record that's the only manipulation any photo of mine has had or (at least for the time being) will have.

From another hide, this pair of Great Crested Grebes seem very intent on each other:

















You can see from this photo just how windy it was (click on the picture - you can see very good feather detail in this one):















From the visitor centre, we watched this Canada Goose, literally goose-stepping its way around:














The bird looked notably smaller than its peers but I don't know if that made it a female in the company of males, or a 'Lesser'?

From windy Rutland we headed to Boston in Lincolnshire, the first centre of our holiday and to the RSPB reserve at Freiston Shore (http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/f/freistonshore/index.asp). We arrived late afternoon and were immediately impressed with the sheer numbers of birds present on the relatively small reserve.

We saw the first group of Avocet of the holiday, although this group look settled down for the evening:








Whilst sat in the hide, a Grey Plover settled on the island to the front of the hide, note the strong but short bill:














This Redshank, with its distinctive bright orange/red legs was probing for food on the bank directly in front of the hide:
















Wherever we went on this holiday Black-headed Gulls were present in large quantities, they can be very amusing birds, I like they way they look when displaying and in full breeding moult:














A small flock of Dunlin settled on the island:














continued in a separate post as I appear to have hit the limit of the blogging software's ability to cope with pictures and text...

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