Sunday, 15 August 2010

A Ruff Day

I decided to do things a bit different today and walk the Lathbury Loop. This involves starting off at Lathbury and walking across the fields via Quarryhall Farm, Gayhurst Quarry, Bury Field, Newport Pagnell and back to Lathbury.
 Best spots around the fields were a Hobby, a family party of Buzzards and a couple of Yellow Wagtails.
Arriving first at Motorway Pit at Gayhurst Quarry, it was clear that the shooting fraternity had been around since my last visit, as well over a hundred juvenile Mallards had been released. I couldn't help but feel the local foxes were in for a treat over the next few days as these new birds were just wandering around in large groups very reluctant to enter the water.
 However there were some new ducks that had arrived of their own persuasion, six Teal and 3 Shoveler.
My fears for the young Dabchicks were unfounded as two parents and two youngsters were once again seen.
 Working around to Fishing Pit, I immediately noticed a medium sized wader  working it's way around the shore in the company of a Common Sandpiper. This was a juvenile Ruff and the first I've seen on site for seven years.
 Nothing much was seen over Bury field and the regular little Egret fishing by the weir at Newport was the most notable sighting on the way back.

 Tonight Paul and I took a trip to Harrold and Odell Country Park in Bedfordshire to try and see a couple of Black-necked Grebes that had been spotted earlier in the day.
 We found these almost straight away fishing just off the island on the main lake. Four Egyptian Geese swam across the lake and two Green Sandpipers flew around calling constantly.
 Walkng around to the hide another wader was seen flying around the lake and when it eventually landed on the island it turned out to another juvenile Ruff !

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