Monday, April 04, 2005

The boys are back in town

Now the clocks have changed I can get some birding done after work. Which is why I was at Ferry Meadows tonight.

The weather looked good when I left work but by the time I was onsite, it had become very cloudy and dull - no good for digiscoping. A large black cloud approached from the west - would it bring migrants pouring down as well as rain?

No, of course not. The only birds of significance were three Common Terns, seven Swallows and five House Martins (my first of the year). I picked up the martins calling before I saw them; good to hear those sounds again.

One of the Common Terns conveniently perched on a buoy off the watersports centre. I showed it to a couple of kids and their dad through my scope. They seemed pretty fascinated when I told them the bird had just arrived from west Africa. Migration is a wondrous thing; it's easy to forget the amazing feats that birds undertake all the time.

Along one of the paths, I happened to glance downwards into some brambles, and saw a dark lump there. On closer inspection, it was revealed to be a Moorhen sitting on a nest. It seemed quite content, pulling up bits of vegetation around it. A couple of feet above the water, precariously balanced on some spindly twigs wouldn't seem to be the best nest location in the world to me, but what do I know?

photo taken with Nikon Coolpix 995 + Leica Apo Televid 62 with 16x eyepiece

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