Zenfolio | Chris Downes' Focus on Birds | 3rd April 2018 ff

3rd April 2018 ff

April 10, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Hogging the Limelight!

You may have previously seen some video clips of foxes taken with our trail camera. Now that the hedgehogs have come out of hibernation they have been quite active in and out of our feeder station. Last night things turned a bit ugly!!

3-way fight. Mr. Paleback takes on all-comers and, eventually, chases the other two away!


A trip to Swillington Ings with Sheila [April 1st] in search of black-necked grebes and hirundines drew a blank. Most exciting bit was crossing the flooded causeway from Methley Bridge. It was even deeper on the way back! I only took a couple of photos - of a great crested grebe. Repeat performance: a trip into deepest, wildest Lincolnshire at East Halton on the Humber saw me watching the same corner field for several hours with Simon and Karen Spavin. I did see a bird dive into the bushes several times and it was probably the bluethroat but I never got a decent view and I didn't add it to the year list.

Someone picked up a newt off the concrete bank. We put it back in the damp grass.

Winters' Pond, where I parked, held another great crested grebe. The water was very choppy in the strengthening wind when I left.

A Compendium of Grebes

- or: Intimate encounter 2018 #6

Another trip to Swillington Ings and a long walk from Oddball down to the reedbed as the causeway was now well under water. However I virtually doubled my life list of black-necked grebes. I saw 11 different birds that day. [18 were reported!] I saw yet another great crested grebe too! But here they are - a real star turn. Black-necked grebes!

We'll let them float away now...

I called at Fairburn Ings, Village Bay end, on the way home. Soon had over a hundred sand martins in the sky. My first of the year. At Charlie's hide I watched a couple of gulls over the water. I suddenly realised one of the gulls wasn't a gull at all. The scope soon confirmed it was a tern. Another 2018 first. I counted it as a common tern but would appreciate any views on this. Photographed at some distance and considerably cropped.

My most recent sortie was yesterday [9th April] to North Cave where I spent a long time searching for little ringed plovers. It was after 2pm when I eventually found a pair distantly on Cell A. Scope views only but a good tick. Early morning fog/mist hadn't helped the search. Although it was well into the afternoon, I drove on the M62 and M18 to Adwick-on-Dearne to see a pair of garganey. I had pretty precise directions as to where the birds were located [it's a pretty big area] and after a 15 minute-walk I saw them immediately. They never came right out into open water but I thought I got some nice images of this lovely bird. Walking back at the end of a great day's birding, a song thrush was singing by the car park.

173 UK 2018


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