Sunday, October 10, 2010

A warm weekend - Sunday

Having enjoyed the scenes at Frieston on Saturday (particularly being overflown by a huge flock of Black-tailed Godwits) we thought we'd aim for a different experience on the Sunday and headed to Holme and the NWT nature reserve there, to check for migrants brought in on the East winds. The later tide also meant we could arrive after dawn. It was a beautiful morning - much warmer than it should have been for the time of year and with a bright orange sunrise. We were surprised as we walked into the dunes on the beach to see more waders whirling around.

I took advantage of their proximity and the light to take some pictures that hopefully give a sense of both the experience and indeed the range of species present, including Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plovers, Turnstones and Oystercatchers, all in good numbers:




















The odd bird (this a Black-tailed Godwit) flew close by:



And it wasn't all waders, a small flock of Brent Geese flew over-head, honking their way inland to feed:



with one left behind:



I also shot some videos of the waders moving around and flailing around which you can access via these links (I tried for hours to load them yesterday to no avail, hence the links):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbGNq51Hp3g

Back on the dunes we encountered loads of more common migrants including a Northern Wheatear:
As well as outgoing migrants, there were the seasonal arrivals too, such as Redwing:




Other birds moving through include Redstarts:







And Goldcrests:





Having walked the boardwalk, the beach and the woods, we stopped at the house on the reserve for a cup of tea, and to watch more new arrivals, such as the Bramblings, here accompanied by a Chaffinch:


From Holme we decided to head back to Welney, the sun was out and I was hoping for better pictures than on Saturday.
After lunch and from the Buxton hide we enjoyed watching a pair of Golden Plover bathing and preening, and yes that's a Pectoral Sandpiper in the foreground:




Here's the Pectoral Sandpiper seen from the front (flanked by Lapwings), with it's distinctive upper parts markings:



On the roof of the main hide a Pied Wagtail was browsing for food:



At the Lyle hide a pair of just fledged Barn Swallows (they were still in the nest on Saturday):

I moved away from the birds and hung around for an adult to come in to feed them:




And of course, last but not least from the observatory wing alongside the main hide, the Wilson's Phalarope:



I hope it pops in to Northants soon :)
We had a great 'recovery' weekend and got home feeling much better, my cold receding and our sleep somewhat replenished.

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