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Friday, 14 January 2011

Summer Vistor or Winter Resident?

If you are wondering about the title, I'm afraid you will have to scroll to the end or read this blog to the end.

It hasn't been the best of weeks and a posting wasn't likely. However Tuesday found me out in the afternoon as the sun had appeared, so I thought a quick trip to Fairhaven to see if I could catch up with the Red-necked Grebe. I think this first photo probably reflects the week and this post.

As per usual the subject was always just too far away for me to obtain anything other than record shots and you will find much better images on other blogs and web sites. As always Fylde Bird Club members have some crackers, including one image that made BirdGuides Bird of the Week photo – well done to DM.

While being interested in photography, the interest is also in birds, so it is about bird watching and I was happy to spend some time watching this grebe go about it's business. One thing of note was the constant attention it had of one particular Black Headed Gull that insisted in following it everywhere it went – I'm guessing in the hope of a snatch and grab, should the Grebe return to the surface with a meal.

I spent some time at Fairhaven the week before and the Grebe 'didn't seem well', generally out-of sorts and spending a lot of time asleep. I have to say this week it seemed much brighter, doing much more swimming, diving and feeding, and as these record images show, grooming itself.

There has been a Pochard on the lake for sometime and I was a little surprised to see five near the island along with a Gadwall and the Tufted Ducks that inhabit the lake.

The Grebe appeared with what looked like a Stickleback, still accompanied by the Black Headed Gull.

Having circumnavigated the lake, back to where I started, (I always need the exercise), I managed a poor record shot of the male and female Red-Breasted Mergansers.

Now, early today I was somewhat surprised to manage to capture an image of this male Blackcap. As a consequence this seemed worthy of posting, so the Fairhaven rubbish came with it!

An over-wintering male blackcap, seen and photographed January 14 and 15 2011

Most birders will know Blackcap tend to be summer visitors but more and more appear to be over-wintering in the UK. So a bit of a surprise that had me thinking and effectively will lead me to my next post as I have seen Blackcap locally for the past three years, complete with juveniles, suggesting local breeding, so I may just go back through the archives and throw a post together, reviewing and collating old files...


Phil said...

You got some images of the other birds at Fairhaven Geoff and here's me thinking the grebe is the only bird there.

Geoff Gradwell said...

Sadly, no sign of a Norwegian Blue; but I'll keep looking.