Sunday 29 November 2015

You can't moan, can you?

The Lower Derwent Valley flooded following plenty of heavy rain over the last week or so. Headed out to Wheldrake Ings on Saturday afternoon (21st November), to find the path pretty treacherous, but the floods not as high as I'd imagined. Awesome views out of Tower Hide of c85 Pink-footed Geese feeding on the grass plus several hundred Greylags and thousands of Teal and Wigeon.

Wandered, or rather, waded up the path to Swantail Hide. As I approached, a bird suddenly called from the ditch edge to my right  - Cetti's Warbler! I stopped dead and sure enough, the bird called again. It seemed to be on the edge of the reeds by a small Sallow, but frustratingly remained out of sight. I watched intently and moved to a better position. Annoyingly, the bird moved the opposite way and called from further up the ditch. I back-tracked but after several minutes the bird went quiet having failed to show itself. This is my first record of Cetti's Warbler in the York area having dipped several in the past. Surely it can't be long before they colonise the Derwent? Time was getting on so I had a look out of Swantail where another 15 Pinks were on the water, plus 10 Pintail, a brace of Gadwall and a handful of Shoveler. This was beginning to feel like birding in Broadland! Something was spooking the geese and ducks over on the floods but I couldn't see a culprit. I headed back round and the Cetti's called again repeatedly, this time on the other side of the path. Nice! Back at Tower Hide, a Buzzard was bouncing around on the grass much to the annoyance of the geese. Whether this had been what flushed everything I am not sure. I headed home very happy, not bad for a couple of hours out.

Swantail sunset

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