Monday, 1 December 2008

Monday 1st December 2008

Another visit to Bowling Green

As I was running late for lunch, I popped up to Bowling Green Marsh again today. It was quite cold, with frost still on the ground where the sun hadn't shone, and the main pool was three-quarters frozen over. I was greeted on getting out of the car by a Great Spotted Woodpecker, which always seems to be in these trees on the Bowling Green hill. I saw nothing of note until I got into the hide. Only dabbling ducks were present, there being no diving ducks, presumably because there was quite a lot of the pool iced over. I could only pick out a single (drake) Pintail amongst the hordes of Wigeon and Teal. A party of 4 Teal landed on what they thought was water, right in front of the hide, and promptly slid across the ice like budding Torville & Deans'! I think God must have listened to my prayers - there were only 5 geese present! These consisted of 3 Canadas and 2 Greylag. Common Snipe were bombing around looking for some unfrozen mud - I counted 5 in all.

I wandered on to the viewing platform, seeing a couple of Goldcrests on the way. The usual suspects were out on the estuary - Avocets, Redshank, Little Egrets, Dunlin, Grey Plover and the like. Whilst I was on the platform, a Chiffchaff was feeding in a nearby tamarisk bush. After scanning the estuary for a bit longer, and picking out a Grey Seal stretched out on a distant mid-estuary mudbank, and checking the fields on the opposite side of the River Clyst, seeing a dog Fox, I ambled back up to the lane and started checking the bordering hedgerow. I had got about 100 yards along towards the 'log layby', when I noticed 3 more Common Chiffchaffs. On reaching the small pond by the railway arch, I had terrific views of a male Bullfinch. It was then time to get back to work.

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