Sunday, 1 February 2009

Stour Valley

Deceptive signs of early spring at Stodmarsh - catkins trembling against the blue sky. The pools were, however, frozen.
I was introduced to the ramp rats who were there in force, looking for a reported Pied-Billed Grebe, and within half an hour they had provided me with two lifers - a Mealy Redpoll which dangled obligingly above a footpath with Lesser Redpolls and Siskins, and a Jack Snipe which flushed alongside a dyke.
Much better photos of the Mealy are posted on the KOS Stodmarsh site.
A party of about 20 Long-Tailed Tits looked incongruous on the water-side reeds (pretending to be Bearded or Penduline?)......
...but the only grebes were Great-Crested or Little.Over the reed beds four Marsh Harriers mobbed a Common Buzzard, and later over Grove a pair of harriers courted noisily, the male clearly smaller than the female.


Anonymous said...

It's nice that you are seeing signs of spring as there aren't any here in Buffalo NY...People on my local list are all over looking for snowy owls. I get concerned about some birders who in their zeal might stress the birds they are looking for. I guess it's a delicate balance which should start with..'first do no harm'.. Michelle

Kingsdowner said...

It's certainly a threat that we shouldn't underestimate, especially when it's cold and food is hard to find.
Many of our winter visitors seem oblivious of man, which is probably just as well.

Mary said...

Nice Redpolls! I wish some Redpolls would head down my way...they always look so pretty in photos I see. I really love those Long-tailed Tits that you have over there :-)