With the weather being a bit intermittent this week I played safe and took in a little bit more Pensthorpe action which gives you the opportunity to run for cover whenever the heavens open and still grab some decent shots of captive ish birds. I checked out the wader scrape for truly wild birds and was rewarded with an island carpeted with lapwings both adult and young and at a guestimate a couple of hundred birds.
Dotted in amongst the lapwings (as pictured above) were a couple of little ringed plovers but no other waders. There were a couple of basking cormorants with gulls ducks moorhens swans and coots as well as some egyptian geese. All was quiet on the scrapes but a series of photos I took of the egyptian geese subsequently shows their dark side as they bully each other mid flight.
Initially I thought just two geese flying with a group only when you review the photographs do you notice the size difference between them and the fear in the eyes of the smaller goose (I may just be imagining the fear).
No doubting the hostile intent of the big boy now as they lock mid air
If you look closely (or click on image for close up) feathers fly after the mid air punch up.
After all the pre-watershed violence at Pensthorpe I met up with Dan B for an evening walk around the West Hethersett loop hoping for something more relaxing. The first birds of note were those going to bed including Greenfinch, Blue tit, Chiffchaff and great tit. all of whom may have been in the firing line for Dan’s first quality spot of the evening a sparrowhawk apparently out for an evening take away. Shortly afterwards Dan again spotted before me a green woodpecker which called out as it too probably hid itself away for the night.. Whilst wandering around the local water holes we disturbed a large number of roosting pheasants before Dan again claimed the spotting prize with an evening kingfisher.The highlight of the evening were the three separate groups of little owls one of which swooped along in front of us for a while.
Three separate groups shows a healthy population locally especially as at least one group had calling young. They will all be added to the Little owl survey and if you see or hear any yourself please do your bit for citizen science and add to the count. The walk finished with numerous calling tawny owls and a walk on part for a roe deer as well as some crowd shots of assorted bats.