I spent the first part of the day furiously dealing with phone calls and e-mails, most of which were about a possible visit by the BBC's One Show next week. If they come, it will be to take footage for a short feature on cormorants, known to anglers as "the Black Death." Of course we love our cormorants and would like to know why their numbers are declining so rapidly at Paxton. It could be quite confrontational for the RSPB, but anyway, it can't do any harm to provide some nice footage of our colony. I'll keep you posted.
The up-shot of all this was that I went to scout for locations with our new ranger, Rob Martyr who officially starts here next week. We saw several buzzards, a pair of tree-creepers and quite a few other birds but no spring migrants and no sign of the nuthatch that was seen on Tuesday. However, the redpolls were still feeding voraciously at the feeders outside the visitors' centre and there was a redwing in the meadow. We heard a Cetti's warbler shouting from the village side of the Hayling, just before a fat ginger tom-cat emerged from the undergrowth.
Sure enough, we soon put up a snipe and saw quite a few gulls and other birds. For a bleak winter day, it wasn't at all a bad place to be.
Back at Paxton Pits I had a cup of tea with the Voluntary Wardens, Ian and Mike, and we watched the redpolls for a bit. Then a muntjac wandered under the window, which seemed pretty special to us.
|Hide-and-seek sparrow hawk.|
The pictures were taken through double glazing in poor light so I had to tweak them a bit, but I'm pleased.
I understand that I missed a brilliant talk last night when Jeff Harrison showed his amazing pictures of kingfishers. Sadly, my sinuses packed up at the wrong time. (Is there a right time?)