Marston STW 2 Theddlethorpe NNR 1 – visits that is!

Managed 3 visits out and about in last 6 days and got a few pleasing results for me. That being a lifer and the best image thus far of a rather elusive bird, will elaborate in date order below ….

Nov 26th – Marston STW
Called in to watch the Starling mumuration and also managed a few pics of the good numbers of Reed Buntings kicking around the top of field one where there is a little overgrown area of reeds etc.

The Starlings numbered around the 500 / 600 mark but were not in a single group, was just a pleasing to see a few groups doing their thing! here’s a photo taken on my phone of one of the groups of birds.
Below are a couple of pics of a male and female Reed Bunting in the fading light.
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Nov 30th – Theddlethorpe NNR
Now I keep seeing on Birdguides etc. the decent numbers of Snow Buntings being seen around the country, these species seemed to be becoming a bogey bird as I had tried 4 or 5 times to go and see and hopefully photograph the delightful birds but they always eluded me.

So another try to see them was the plan as they had been seen in differing numbers on the East Lincs coast north of Mablethorpe on the Saltfleetby / Theddlethorpe Nature Reserve. I had never been there and so though was supposed to be sunny so good light in the offing to photograph any bird seen on the coast.

There was the added bonus (or double bonus) of also maybe seeing Shore Lark and Twite too as they had been seen a lot there lately too., Off I went drenched in lovely sunshine, got to the outskirts of Mablethorpe and it had obviously been raining and a lot too judging but the roadside puddles. the cloud cover was not good either and it was quiet dull with the only outbreak of bursts of sunshine and this was the way it would be all day.

I got parked and walked along the beach heading back towards Mablethorpe and eventually saw a small group of ground feeding birds, “I though could it be Snows?” I made my way towards the group, keeping as close to the dunes on my right as possible so as not to scare the birds off, they did move away a couple of times and were easily spooked, lost of dog walkers on the beach too.

I decided to sit and wait and after 10 minutes the birds around 20 landed about 100 feet away from my right (into the sun though!) but were making their way feeding as they went coming my way, I did get s few images of the birds as they neared me but the flew off and used the wind to disappear again to my right.  I walked down towards the birds and surprisingly they flew towards me, I stopped and got my camera and tripod ready, the birds were landing abut 30 feet away then the couple nearby who had 4 dogs, (2 on leads and 2 not) turned and came this way also, the loose digs barked at each other as they ran around and off the Snow Buntings went 😦 Below are some of the pics I got, not brill but am pleased I have finally seen them lovely birds eh?
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I had about 3 hours on the reserve, never saw either the Shore Larks nor Twite, next time eh? I did get a few distant pics of what turned out to be Skylarks (thanks Spadge & Dave R) after I could not quiet make them. Below are 4 more pics from the day, these were from the beach at Sutton on Sea after leaving Theddlethorpe. The Curlew was taken from my car where about 20 were feeding in a field when I left Theddlethorpe.
IMG_4955b IMG_4966b IMG_4989b IMG_5032b

Dec 1st – Marston STW
Got a text from Dave R about Stonechat he had found, sweet talked my good lady with ‘the jobs will be done later’ and off I went, met up with Dave and my long time pal Steve Godson and they had the bird in their sights already, it was rally active and moving all over Dave and I mused that maybe it has just arrived and not decided where it’s spot for the winter will be? Pic of the bird from distance below, will be looking out for it when back at MSTW.
We then began to talk about the Water Rails and how you seem to be able to hear them all over the patch. Dave said “I will show you where it is a good spot to see them” and sure enough within 10 minutes we had good sightings of one bold feeding bird while listening to others in the reeds calling out. Below are a few from today, was difficult getting the light right as the bird was in a dark area and was like Dave put it “like taking photo’s in a tunnel’ Well with a little messing about with ISO / over exposure / metering modes I got my best Water rail photos thus far, THANKS DAVE! 🙂 Here they are below, 4 in total hopefully showing some of the lovely markings on different parts of the bird, hope you like…
MSWWRail11213 MSWWRail11213b MSWWRail11213c MSWWRail11213d
I did take a couple of movies of the bird too but could not upload as file size was too big will look at reducing these and posting later. Sorry bit of a long post but thought this was a good way of catching up a bit 🙂

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