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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Curlew? You're having a bath!!

I popped into RSPB Greylake again on the 12th May for a couple of hours.
I'm so fortunate that this great nature reserve is so close by, it means I don't have to factor travelling times into a visit!
   The Cetti's Warbler was calling loudly near the car park as usual, but as per usual I couldn't get a visual let alone a photo, so made my way to the main hide instead.
   There were a few Swifts screeching overhead, a real sound of Summer! I had an attempt at photographing them, but they're not called Swifts for nothing....
    The hide was empty, until another birder came in and we shared a greeting. 'Carl'? 'Bovis'? he enquired.
'Yes and yes!' I replied.
 This chap recognised me from my Flickr page.
His name was Len 'Firecrest' (Not sure his second name was genuine, but it's what he goes by on Flickr!)
  We discussed cameras, birds and photography, and then we heard a Curlew fly over the hide calling and land opposite the other high hide. We decided to relocate to that hide for a better view.
    On entering we saw the Curlew indulging in a bath, having a splashing good time!
Afterwards, it had a a few shakes of it's wings and a preening session.
   All in all my best ever views of a Curlew!

^Above^ - The Curlew.

^Above^ - Swifts.

^Above^ - Housemartin.

 A Marsh Harrier flew past, as did a Kestrel, and Lapwings were chasing every bird that came close, including a group attack on a Carrion Crow, which kept landing in the boggy area seemingly searching for something. I have a horrible feeling it was searching for baby Lapwings...
   In the distance a Heron flew past, again chased by a Lapwing!
Once I got home and looked through the pictures, there was one with the flying Heron in it, a perched Reed Bunting, a perched Linnet and 2 Yellow Wagtails in flight!!
  I hadn't noticed any Yellow Wagtails on there reserve at the time!!

^Above^ - The distant shot of the Heron and 4 other birds!

^Above^ - Lapwing mobbing the Heron.

^Above^ - Lapwings diving at the hidden Carrion Crow.

^Above^ - Passing Marsh Harrier.

Len and I heard a Cuckoo at various times, but alas we didn't see the bird.
 As it turned out, Len did see the Cuckoo after I left, and got a fantastic shot of it in flight, which you can see on his Flickr page here;


He was a lovely chap! He told me about a great place to see Peregrines, the Avon Gorge in Bristol.
 As it happens, later that day I was in Bristol working, and I popped to the Avon Gorge while I was there! I didn't see the Peregrines on this occasion, but I did see passing a Kestrel and Sparrowhawk!
 Back at Greylake car park, just before leaving the reserve, I heard the Cetti's calling again, and this time I managed a couple of shots of it, though it was still partially hidden!!

^ Above^ - The elusive Cetti's Warbler!

^ Above^ - Chaffinch.

^ Above^ - Reed Bunting.

Below are some pictures from later on at the Avon Gorge;

^ Above^ - Kestrel.

^ Above^ - Sparrowhawk.

^ Above^ - Raven.

^ Above^ - Lesser Black Back Gull.

^ Above^ - Feral Pigeon.

^ Above^ - Jackdaws.

^ Above^ - Carrion Crows.

^ Above^ - Flowers growing on the Gorge rocks.

^ Above^ - Sunset on my way home....

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 Until next time.... thank you for reading! :)