Tag Archives: Dabchick

Tuesday, and a Departure from My System of Simple Titles

Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

We went to the coast today, it was warm and pleasant, though a touch crowded in places. Our route took us through North Lincolnshire to avoid the roadworks round Lincoln. We eventually arrived in Chapel St Leonards, thinking of toilets. There was a queue, and it was a bit crowded to we went to Sutton on Sea, which was also queued out and crowded. Eventually we found toilets in Alford which was not crowded, being a traditional sleepy market town, though there was still a queue for the toilet as they only allow one person in at a time.

Dabchick, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Dabchick, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire – it is scratching the side of its head.

Dabchick, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Dabchick, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Thomas Paine served as a customs officer in Alford. (The linked article has interesting information, though some of the syntax is slightly irregular.

Skegness was also crowded so we carried on to Gibraltar Point. The main car park was crowded, so we went to the smaller one and had a picnic under the pines before walking in the marsh and taking a few photos. Julia walked more than I did – I sat in the hide trying to get some duck photos.

We saw a good pincushion gall and plenty of berries – hawthorn, sea buckthorn and rose hip. If old wives are correct it will be a bad winter, but they aren’t always right. I’m sure the berries  have more to do with the summer weather than the coming winter.

Pincushion Gall, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Pincushion Gall, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Pincushion Gall, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

Pincushion Gall, Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire

I couldn’t find a dragonfly to pose for me, though several flew past and several grasshoppers lurked modestly amongst grass stems which prevented decent photos.  I did manage a few shots, including sky and water, which tend not to move when you press the button, unlike ducks.

On the way back in the dark we narrowly missed a female roe deer that bounced out of the hedge in front of us. There are plenty of dead deer poems (google it if you don’t believe me) of which this is probably the best known. Due to me being alert and equipped with new brake pads the world has been deprived of another.

 

A Day of Dabchicks

We went to Old Moor, an RSPB reserve in the Dearne Valley between Barnsley and Rotherham.I’ve never thought of this area in relation to birds before, but there are 250 acres of wetland with a variety of hides, toilets, shop, cafe and bird garden. With our new RSPB membership cards it was too good to miss.

Things got off to a shaky start when we left the cards in the car and had to walk back to the far end of the car park to get them.  After that things were pretty good and although we missed the bullfinches that are supposedly common here, we still built up a list of over 40 species from just half of the reserve.

We started with the Bird Garden, which is a piece of lawn between the back of the Visitors’ Centre and an area of woodland. It is well provided with feeding stations and natural-looking perches (including a fork handle for the traditional Robin shot). Only one bird selected the handle while we were there – a Great Tit. So much for tradition.

From there we moved on to look at the display garden and the Tree Sparrow Farm, an area of grassland and hedges with a large number of nestboxes. They claim to have a colony of 250 Tree Sparrows but only two popped by to visit, and neither of them posed for us.

I also had trouble getting a good shot of a Stock Dove as the Wood Pigeons kept chasing them.

I will show a selection of photographs rather than list everything we saw.

 

There were plenty of ducks about, and a selection of waders. The light started deteriorating as the afternoon drew on so I don’t have as many shots as I would like. I was lucky in getting a couple of good shots of Dabchicks (or Little Grebes if you prefer formality) that came close to the hides. One, as you can see, managed to catch a comparatively large fish (which looks like a Perch in some of the photos). The size (and spines) meant it took a long time to swallow. The video clip shows the bird after eating; I think it’s trying to clean the fish slime off.

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Dabchick with fish