02 October 2009

Non-dead Water Rails

An early start to avoid Mr. & Mrs. Joe Public and all their screaming offspring failed miserably as the first human encountered was some inconsequential middle-aged twat out for a walk with his pitiful excuse for a leadless dog. On informing the owner that all dogs (however rat-like) are meant to be tethered to their owner, I was supplied with the faultless pearl that the dog in question "doesn't upset birds and animals". I humbly pointed out that I was an animal and it 'upset' me but, unfortunately, I didn't hear his response, drowned out, as it was by the whoosh of air as my comment passed some distance over his heavily-browed cranium.

Anyhoo, once past muttley, and having been driven from the west end of the reserve by the sheer weight of decibels emanating from the power station, I did actually get to see and hear some birds. Not an awfully large number but enough to make it worth getting out of bed. Vis-mig consisted of a steady trickle of Mipits, alba wags and Chaffinch interspersed with a few Skylark, Grey Wags, a dozen Siskin and one or two Redpoll. On the deck 9 Stonechat and a fair number of Chiffchaff were about the best of it although the duck numbers were pretty good and a couple of Water Rail were showing near the lighthouse.

Short red-based bill,... slimy-green legs,... it can only mean one thing - I'm getting bored trying to turn juv/1st-winter Water Rails into something more interesting.

PS. Had a really brief view of a possible Water Shrew; shot across the path alongside the power station, looked dark as hell above and long in the body. Unfortunately, it wasn't half as amenable to study the last one I had at the reserve.

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