Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Straining The Eyes!

Stilt Sandpiper, Elton Hall Flash, Sandbach, Cheshire

I am working at a site near Nutsford, Cheshire this week undertaking some Great Crested Newt consultancy work, this involves early morning starts, but, more importantly early finishes! Which yesterday provided me with the opportunity to catch up with Cheshires STILT SANDPIPER (first for me!), the bird has been present at Neumans Flash since Saturday but yesterday was flushed by a Sparrowhawk and relocated further south in the county at Sandbach Flashes. After a mad dash to the site I soon found the bird roosting on one of the spits on Elton Hall Flash, unfortunately with the heat haze and the long distance I could only manage a photo that insults the term record shot (I promise you that's the bird to the left of the Lapwing)! But still, LIFE TICK!
Grass Snake, Private Site, Cheshire
After this I visited a private site in the county which boasts a population of Grass Snakes which are being monitored, I was lucky enough to find three first year animals, also on the site were 10+ Bullfinches, 2 Buzzards, 20+ Common Darters, Black Darter, 7 Southern Hawker, and a Brown Hawker.
Lesser Scaup, Pennington Flash
Today I managed to see the drake Lesser Scaup off the south shore of Pennington Flash which may well be the same individual that has been seen at the flash on two further occasions over the last few years, the bird showed very well compared to yesterdays Stilt Sandpiper but rarely woke and raised its head as it constantly bobbed along roosting on the open water with Tufted Ducks and Pochards. I didn't have the time for a look around the main reserve but an impressive 27 Great Crested Grebes could be seen from the Car Park area, and both Bullfinch, Chiff Chaff, and Willow Warbler could be seen off the footpath along to the Grebe.
Lesser Scaup, Pennington Flash
Today as I continued with the Great Crested Newt work I found 2 Raven, 2 Common Buzzard, Chiff Chaff, 2 Nuthatch, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a fearsome looking Great Water Diving Beetle which landed in a Newt pitfall trap.

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