Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Rat v Heron, Fens

I was sitting in my car next to a frozen river when i suddenly heard a spine tingling screaming coming from about 200m further down. At first i thought it was just a dog walker falling through the ice but it turned out to be a huge rat fighting for its life. A Grey Heron had caught it by its tail and brought it out on to the ice. However, the monster rat wasn't going inside the heron without a fight. The screaming rat was trying to bite the herons legs and was even pulling it along the ice at one point. Eventually the rat broke free and scurried back to some sedges leaving the heron a bit confused on the ice.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Grey Heron, RW.

I can't remember the last time i saw a Heron catch a fish. A slight thaw began today so their fortunes might change just in the nick of time.

Peregrine, RW, 9th Jan

Two of the reservoirs top predators exchange looks. The GBBG eventually moved the Juv Peregrine on.

Sparrowhawks, RW, Jan 9th.

I spent a couple of afternoons watching 3 hawks (2 fem and 1 male) launching almost non-stop attacks on feeding Snipe, thrushes and pipits. During one 2 hour spell i saw 15 failed chases. I would have loved to have been just a bit nearer to the action (for photos) but the location, angle of light and the high probability of disturbing other feeding birds meant i just had to make do with where i was. I didn't see a single successful chase which sums up how difficult it actually is for a Spar to catch a bird.

Launching another attack on the feeding Redwings.

At first glance it looks like a totally pointless photo but if you look carefully you can see a Sparrowhawk sneaking up on a Robin. Unfortunately the camera decided to focus on the grass at the crucial moment which is nothing new as the 40D is utter crap on AI Servo when a blade of grass or gnat gets in the way. The Robin lived.

A Blackbird has a lucky escape.

Passing Woodcock, RW

Colour-ringed Lapwing, RW

It will be interesting to see where this colour-ringed Lapwing originated from considering the freeze up.

Dippers, Jan 2010

The Dippers were very busy despite the snow, ice and -4c. This particular bird was finding plenty of insect larvae and the odd fish and even found the time to sing and display to another passing Dipper.