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Friday, 4 December 2015

Hundreds of Wintering ducks, Lapwings and Golden Plover at RSPB Greylake!

I popped into RSPB Greylake again this morning with my other/better half in tow, I was armed with my camera, she was armed with binoculars. She had an important role, my spotter! She did a good job too, pointing out a Marsh Harrier a number of times, plus a sleepy Snipe, that she tried to show me with directions such as 'it's by that dead bit of grass' and 'it's not far from that duck'...... which would've been perfect directions if there hadn't been thousands of areas of dead grass or hundreds of ducks....
   Eventually I found the sleepy Snipe, camourflaged beautifully. Thank you Nick. Thank you also for not clouting me around the head...
  The main hide was packed out as usual. It's a case of getting there first nowadays, or you will not get a view let alone a seat! It's also amusing that binoculars and even telescopes are rare here now, everyone has cameras with massive zoom lenses! I am one of them myself, so I'm not complaining!
   Nick and I moved to the higher hide, which is even colder than the Arctic like main hide, but the views are actually better from the slightly elevated position, and it's easier to photograph birds in flight from here too!
  We met a Flickr contact here, Chris Hiscoke, who I'd never met before. Yet another lovely local guy who enjoys photographing nature! Nice meeting you Chris, see you around soon!

 There were a lot of birds on the reserve, literally thousands in total, hundreds of duck, mainly Wigeon ,Teal and Shoveler, but also a handful of Gadwall, Mallard and a pair of Pintail.
     Over the back of the reserve were hundreds of Golden Plover and Lapwing. Every now and then a male Marsh Harrier would put them all up. I love taking photos of the skies filled with these birds, wheeling left and right in what seems like blind panic, but is actually just a survival technique.
    Also present was a Buzzard, a hover hunting Kestrel and a Peregrine that sat in a dead tree far away from the hide unfortunately!

Below are some of the pictures I took during our 2 hour visit;

^Above^ - Shoveler

   ^Above^ - Male Mallard

   ^Above^ - Wigeon.

   ^Above^ - Various duck including Gadwall (Top duck in top picture)

   ^Above^ - Various duck, including a pair of Pintail.

   ^Above^ - Teal with a pair of Wigeon.

   ^Above^ - Lots of duck!! In the 4th pic there's a male Marsh Harrier, can you find it?

   ^Above^ - Shovelers, Wigeon and Teal.

   ^Above^ - Lapwings.... lots of!

   ^Above^ - Mute Swans.

   ^Above^ - Buzzard....with 2 Crow 'friends'...

   ^Above^ - Little Egret.

   ^Above^ - Male Marsh Harrier.

   ^Above^ - An old dead tree..... with a Peregrine! (Top right branch)

   ^Above^ - Carrion Crow.

   ^Above^ - Pied Wagtail.

   ^Above^ - Hundreds of Golden Plover!

   ^Above^ - Snipe.

   ^Above^ - Chiffchaff (With Pied Wagtail)

   ^Above^ - Long Tailed Tit.

   ^Above^ - Wren.

   ^Above^ - Robin.

   ^Above^ - Blue Tits, the bottom one seems to have ticks by it's eye, poor thing!


   ^Above^ - Great tits.

   ^Above^ - Male Chaffinch.

   ^Above^ - Male Reed Buntings.

   ^Above^ - Nick, my trusty 'spotter' :)

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