Monday, 31 October 2016

A Fantastic Day Near The Mendips!

Date: 31st October 2016
Location: Westhay + Cheddar
Weather: Blue Sky, Calm Winds and Sunny
Other Species: 
Observation: Teal, Wigeon, 10+ Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, Shoveler, Great White Egret, Great-Crested Grebe

Westhay Highlights - 15+ Bearded Tits
Cheddar Highlights -  1 Lesser Yellowlegs, Snipe, 1 Mandarin Duck, 2 Great White Egret, 1 White-Fronted Goose
Chew Valley Lake Highlights - 4 Bewick Swan, Kingfisher, Common Gull, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, 3+ Cetti's Warbler

As Monday's are my days off, me and Wayne headed down to Westhay as the Bearded Tit's seemed to be popping up lately. As if by magic on our arrival the fog cleared and the blue skies appeared, and after 5 minutes chatting to other birds (who had been there for some time). Initially only a pair were present but after a further 10 minutes and just like the buses, a further 15+ flew in! Here's a few of the shots we got!

In the sunshine, cracking little birds!

Pair of Female Bearded Tit's.

Another cracking Male posing for us!

They were feeding on the gravel on the boardwalk and showed extremely well down to 5-10 feet most of the time. After 200+ images all taken with our 400mm lenses and around an hour photographing and watching them we left them to it. This is a new life tick for me, although Wayne has photographed them back in 2014.

On our way home, we popped into Cheddar Reservoir as I hadn't had chance to see the Lesser Yellowlegs yet due to work commitments! Although Wayne has been down previously.

We even managed some nice low-level shots, the bird was around 30 foot away but came right over in front of us at one point!!

Whilst led photographing the Lesser Yellowlegs, the single White-Fronted Goose swam across in front of us, didn't manage both in one shot but a nice isolated shot none the less!

We left both the Lesser Yellowlegs and White-Fronted Goose with the other birders who were constantly arriving, and had a wander around the rest of the Reservoir, not much else to photograph as they were all out on the drained islands but 2 Great White Egret and the Female Mandarin Duck by the second tower.

We stopped off at Chew Valley Lake on the way home also, and the 4 Bewick Swan were still present from Herriott's End, and a fly-past Kingfisher ended a fantastic day with 2 new life ticks under our belt!

 Thanks For Looking !

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