Saturday, 3 January 2015

Green-eyed for the Green-winged no more

Over the last year I have missed Green-winged Teal in the Ely10 several times over, today I decided that I would have to put the time in if I were not to miss another.  I presented myself early doors at Welney having enjoyed a diversion of a parliament (??) of Barn Owls hunting from the fence line along the approach road.  There have been as many as 9 birds feeding along this stretch, remarkable scenes.  A quick walk onto the cradge bank will give the answer as to why, there are rodents scurrying all over, quite the infestation and providing the Barn Owls with some very easy pickings.

Finding the needle in a haystack full of needles.......after 2 hours searching through thousands of Teal I was cold but well meditated.  The focus of checking the orientation of Teal flank stripes is very much a mantric approach to birding and I moved to some very relaxed observation after the first hour and when a vertical stripe did finally flicker through the scope I felt well rewarded.  I was very pleased to see the bird at all as it spent most of it's time hunkered beyond identification in vegetation or completely out of view and a heroic downpour had also made this bird particularly difficult to watch.  A good start to the New Year which has left me to reflect upon the year just gone and grasp at those exquisite birding moments and retrieve them as best as memory can, from the near past.