Saturday, 23 February 2013

Early Oystercatcher

A morning in the Stour Valley with a bitterly cold easterly wind Alan and I walked the circuit noting 1 Grey Partridge calling from the fields adjacent to the Boathouse at 6.14am while from the Ramp there were 8 Dunlin, 1 Redshank, 2 Shelducks and a few Teal with 9 marsh Harriers passing out of the reserve as well as 50 Mute Swans. Unusually there were a number of Rooks flying low over the reeds with a flock of 24 early morning and another 32 at midday. Also noted were 2 Grey Herons, 1 Little Egret, 3 Cetti’s Warblers, 2 Water rails and 1 Sparrowhawk. Little of note from Feast hide except 8 Tufted Ducks while at Marsh hide there was a single Snipe and 11 Water Pipits. There were 9 Siskins feeding on a low Alder near the fishing ponds before the Alder Wood and on the lake at Stodmarsh there were25 Pochards and 24 Tufted Ducks. Alan picked out an Oystercatcher on the new Tern raft at 9.50am so I text the locals but found it unnecessary to tweet as it’s hardly a scarce bird. This one is our earliest valley bird as most turn up in May.
Only other birds of note on the lake were 2 Great Black-backed Gulls, 1 Black-headed Gull, 1 Herring Gull and 19 Gadwall. Not a lot to see along the river except another 12 Water Pipits on the Grazing marsh, a small party of 8 Long-tailed Tits and a single Redwing. For those who know about the car I have purchased for restoration, it is now down to a body shell and rolling chassis. The engine and gearbox came out yesterday (Friday). The photo also shows the holes in the floor where I need to buy complete new floor panels for the boot and under the seats.
The GT6 body shell

The under floor showing holes with very large boot floor hole!

The rolling chassis with engine and gearbox still in

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