With Christmas over it seemed a good idea to get out and have a walk and get rid of a few of those excesses consumed over the last few days and what better than doing some birding at a local park, Upton Country Park and Holes Bay.
Our first birds were a flight of Redwing and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flying over the car park then it was Robin, Song Thrush, Blue Tit and a Dunnock or two, as we walked past the pond there were the usual Hybrids and Mallards also a single Teal and a few Moorhen. Out on the marsh and in the bay were good numbers of waterfowl, Curlew, Redshank a few Dunlin roosting around the feet of the Black-tailed Godwits. The Teal were lining the edge of the channels, Scanning through the mass of Teal a few Pintail were found and farther out there was a flock of Avocet and lots of Shelduck. Then one of the group found a couple of Spoonbill which turned into six as they walked out of one of the distant channels.
|Six Spoonbill roosting NW Holes Bay|
We moved on to look over the north east of the bay on our way a few had good views of a Green Woodpecker and farther on we had Black-tailed Godwits flying over to feed in the fields. As we arrived at the Creekmoor outlet I and a few had brief views of a Kingfisher. Out in this part of the bay we had lots of Wigeon and Redshank, I then heard a Spotted Redshank calling and soon after found it feeding in the channel fairly close to us.
|Spotted Redshank NE Holes Bay|
There were a good number of Mute Swan along the edge of the bay and we had brief view of a single Spoonbill as it flew into the bay over Pergin's Island. The PC World ditch had our second Kingfisher but little else of interest and now the tide was rising and we watched a flock of one hundred and fifty Avocet fly in and started feeding on the far shoreline. Retracing our steps Jackie mentioned that we had forty seven species on the list three off our target for the our walk 'Aha - a challenge'! Walking back through the wood Jess saw a Nuthatch and soon after we all caught up with a very noisy bird calling.
As we looked over the north west of the bay again a small flock of Lapwing flew over and then all the waders lifted off giving a wonderful display and we soon saw why. A Peregrine came cruising across the bay and flew straight into the wader flock which consisted of mainly Black-tailed Godwit and it missed, turned and went back through them again with no luck. He gain height again and started to take another flight into the flock when a Crow appeared and had a go at the Peregrine, the Crow then headed toward Pergin's and the Peregrine turned his attention on the Crow and gave it a real wallop and knocked it into a tree on Pergin's, it then circled and disappeared into the back of the island out of sight.
But what a tremendous way to finish a walk and successfully reaching 53 species in total, a good morning's birding.
|Black-tailed Godwits taking flight just before the Peregrine made its first pass.|