Thursday, 5 November 2009

One that got away... and one that didn't

Had a rather disappointing owl encounter yesterday evening when a large grey owl flew across the road just on the upper edge on the headlight beam, had to be either barred or great-horned. The reason it's disappointing is that I've never seen the latter species and yesterday's view was way too poor to be able to string it! Maybe I should hang out there with a torch of an evening...

This morning the rain and wind were enough to keep me indoors for longer than usual. On the plus side, a red-necked grebe was on the sea, I've not seen many from here. Oh, and I forgot (again) my first long-tailed duck from the house was with the scoters yesterday.

When I did finally drag myself out to Holden Creek at midday I was met with a strikingly blank vista.
So, despite the return of some hefty rain I elected to go to the estuary at the appropriately named Raines Road. On the river by the road I noticed some immaculate Barrow's goldeneyes and a quick count revealed approximately 200 birds - probably small beer for local birders for we Brits this duck has almost mythical status.
A fair bit of shooting was going on out on the marsh (the sight of a winged wigeon flapping around in a panic while the hunter simply looked on was somewhat unpleasant - why go shooting without a dog to retrieve the stuff you bring down?)
4 trumpeter swans were out on the estuary and a northern shrike was braving the elements but it was pretty quiet otherwise.

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