Sunday, November 20, 2011

Birding in Britain - the novelty

It really had been too long since we managed to get out birding around our home. What with all my flying and the work on the garden filling our spare time it must have been six months since we ventured out. We decided to put that right with a trip up to south Lincolnshire so set off on Friday night after work, settling into a Premier Inn for dinner and an early night ahead of an equally early start.

Saturday morning we were out at dawn and drove the 40 minutes to Frampton Marsh, our first destination. The weather forecast was for clear skies, however a ground mist lay over the land leading to some beautiful effects from the rising sun:

At Frampton Marsh some Swans took off in the morning light:

A pair of Kestrels emerged from the Barn Owl box they've apparently taken over:

A Grey Heron fished:

A flock of Brent Geese took off from the wash and headed inland looking for food:

I think I prefer this one of the three it has more depth and indeed birds. The yellows and white in the first two were indicative of just how close to the sun they were when I took the images:

From Frampton we headed South-East to Welney in Cambridgeshire passing a group of men waving their arms to scare birds out of trees and shooting them... the nadir of our species.

Welney was its usual welcoming self, an oasis of conservation and life. We enjoyed seeing the migrant Whooper Swans, Pochard and other ducks and geese and were chuffed when a pair of Common Cranes dropped in. We'd only just been talking about whether the birds in Spring may have stayed or if they'd have moved on. These were the first Cranes at Welney in some time apparently...

They didn't hang about long though:

From Welney we visited a new RSPB reserve, Drayton Lakes. It was very busy with people dog walking, fishing and surrounded by gunfire and actually proved a real disappointment, so we decided to head back to Northampton to try and catch sight of some Short-eared Owls which had been seen recently. We arrived literally as the sun dipped below the hills, so while we enjoyed watching the owls I only managed a record shot:

We decided to head back again therefore on Sunday afternoon. The weather was against us though and as we approached it was apparent the area was wreathed in fog. We still saw half a dozen Owls including a pair fighting:

And one bird kindly flew close enough for me to get some (mostly) in focus images:

I'm going to take a late lunch break this week if there's a sunny afternoon and try again with better light, fingers crossed. We did enjoy our birding in the UK again.

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