Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Pennington rainy day

Nick, being the brilliant person that he is, was the driving force behind us going to Pennington Flash on a Sunday that was so wet and miserable that I could easily have spent it indoors feeling glum. I decided the camera could stay in the camera-bag in between hides, and this tactic worked pretty well.

From the first hide, which overlooks the main flash itself, there were lots of Black-headed Gulls, with a few Herring and Lesser Black-backed further off. On the spit a couple of Oystercatchers wandered about and there were Teals dotted about, with a handful of distant Great Crested Grebes and a Goldeneye or two.

This Goldeneye eventually came over quite close to us. I think the darkish eye must make it a first-winter. Probably female as there's no sign of adult male plumage starting to appear.

The next hide produced - not much. A few dabbling ducks, and a far-off perched Kingfisher. The hide after that - a pair of Teals very close, though they heard us coming in and quickly paddled away.

There have been sightings of a Bittern from the next hide (the Teal hide if I remember rightly). No Bittern for us but several Goosanders snoozing on this island alongside Mallards, Gadwalls and Teals.

There was also a single female Goosander in the water. I tried some shots at slower shutter speeds (1/200th) to reduce noise, bracing the lens on the hide window to reduce shake. As you can see, this didn't work particularly brilliantly.
Two Cormorants, one of them generously filoplumed, dropped in for a short while then left again.

I held out for the Bittern for a good while but had no luck, so it was on to the Bunting hide, where the feeding stations were attracting the usual pageant of small and not-so-small avian visitors.

A selection of the many (many) shots taken here. I took off the teleconverter as it really wasn't needed (and more light really really WAS needed). From the top, Stock Dove, male Reed Bunting, Willow Tit, Nuthatch, male Chaffinch, female Bullfinch. Also present - Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Greenfinch, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Moorhen, Mallard, Woodpigeon, Magpie. I really must come here on a sunny day sometime.

Yearlist update - after the weekend, I finish January on 117 species. Wonder what will be next...

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