Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year dipping!

To make up for not getting out much over the christmas break, I headed up north with friends today to try for the bittern that had been present for the last week or so at Inch Island.
With several other birders around and news that it hadn't been seen at all yesterday despite dawn to dusk searching, we set off for the nearby cattle egret. Almost as soon as we arrived, the farmer showed up and led us to his cow shed where the bird was feeding. Over the next hour or so it flew back and forth from the cow sheds to the pig field. Only got a few photos and sketches of the bird due to its flighty nature and strong wind, the best is above.
We moved to Blanket Nook and had a few Slavonian grebes off the sea wall, but little on the lake. The weather turned and heavy rain fell for most of the afternoon. We moved to Inch again and 22 pink footed geese showed in the distance through the driving rain in the fields around the pump. Found the Smew at Inch after a long search, but it quickly disappeared again. Trying a few different vantage points we picked up 2 wintering male ruff, and eventually the smew showed again but distantly. The rain intensified and we didn't bother trying for the bittern again. A good day out despite missing my main target.
Pink footed and greylag geese at Inch

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