Thursday, 1 April 2010

Blacktoft Sands II

In addition to the fine display of Barn Owls at Blacktoft Sands on Sunday we enjoyed plenty more sightings earlier in the day. Having spotted our first Avocet up at Teeside on Monday we were doubly chuffed with today's closer views.

Whilst watching the Avocets a Snipe busied itself on the margin and came to rest in view, just above the vegetation.

The appearance of 50+ Black Tailed Godwits was highlighted in the recent sightings book, and we managed to catch up with them at Ousefleet Hide. Their distinctive features are a long, almost straight bill, pink at the base, white wing bar visible in flight, black tailbar. Watching them for a while we recognised them as a species we'd seen as a pair up at Creswell last autumn.

Whilst watching the Godwits two Roe Deer darted directly in front of the hide from the left, taking turns to chase each other. Andrea was quick with her camera and managed to get this shot. We spotted more throughout the day, one in the cultivated field that runs alongside the reserve and later in the reed beds whilst watching the Barn Owls.

Marsh Harriers nest on the reserve and are a regular sight.

On this occasion I watched a Marsh Harrier dive at an unsuspecting Coot and then try again a minute later. The Coot retaliated successfully and the Marsh Harrier moved on. Apologies for the quality of this sequence taken at a distance.


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