Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Tuesday and Wednesday!

Yesterday Tuesday 17th after checking with the BBC weather and double checking with XC Weather I joined DW and GH  on a day trip to Dinant, Belgium to hopefully see the much photographed Wallcreeper that has been present there since December. As we drove off the train at Calais it was raining, c3hrs later as we parked by the river Meuse in Dinant it was still raining. I checked the BBC and XC weather websites on the phone, both still insisted it was a bright sunny day in Dinant.
Spotting the cliffs and Citadel was easy but where to look for the Wallcreeper? Fortunately after a looking at parts of cliffs we ran into a Belgian couple and there young son, the only other birders there, they told us that the bird was seen on the citadel walls early morning and showed us where to view it. The young lad spotted immediately, he got it in his scope and we viewed it at a range of c300mts. Not very satisfactory! It was very mobile and quickly disappeared for an hour before reappearing again in the same place and range again. We carried on waiting and hoping the bird would come closer, eventually after more waiting and rain it did come on to nearer cliff face, once again first spotted by the young lad, it was still quite distant but gave great scope views as it crawled and flitted over cliff face. Photography was near on impossible as it was so dark and dreary and so far away. The image below was my best effort, at 2000 ISO the shutter speeds were still very slow. In hindsight we should probably taken the funicular railway up to the Citadel, where we may have got better views. Weekends would probably be better when more birders are around to track it.
 Despite the weather a good day out in great company and good scope views of the Wallcreeper!
 Whitefront at Scotney today!
I spent several hours today wandering around Scotney soaking up the sun unlike yesterday. A single Whitefront was associating with a few Greylags as I wandered through the farm. A couple of Tree Sparrows flew over as did 4 Corn Buntings, there was much disturbance in the farmyard so Little else was seen there. On the lake the 3 Black-necked Grebes still paddling around together, 2 Tundra Bean Geese eventually lifted there heads to reveal them selves, after much searching the Scaup appeared from under the bank, the Barnacle Goose that has been wandering around on its own for the last week or so was as shy as ever NOT! On the turf 8 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 8 Redshank, 2 Curlew and 4 Oystercatchers.
 1 of the 2 Tundra Bean Geese at Scotney today!
 The lonesome Barnacle Goose it can definitely fly!
 The Cattle Egrets showing well at Brickwall Farm this afternoon!
Late afternoon 2 Cattle Egrets, c8 Great White Egrets and c17 Little Egrets roosted. I totally lost count and concentration watching the Starlings spectacular pre roost display, the wild Swans flying in to roost and a Barn Owl hunting near the screen hide. 

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