Saturday 29 October 2016

Pit 60 etc: Saturday 29th October

There seemed no point in an early start on this dark, dank morning! In fact, I wasn't sure of the wisdom of venturing out at all. However Badger's helpful text, and the post on the Oxon Bird Log of a Snow Bunting were sufficient to get me moving. Nevertheless, it wasn't until well after 11am that I reached the Farmoor car park. I then decided to call Dai to check for the latest info, only to be told it had probably gone some time ago!

Badger also confirmed its absence, so I made an abrupt change of plan and headed off to Standlake - once out I could really just turn round and go back home, could I?! Arriving in due course at a deserted Langley Lane hide at Pit 60, a very grey scene presented itself. But almost immediately some colour in the form of a Kingfisher flashed past, so I settled in for a wait, hoping for a return visit.

Nothing else came remotely close enough to be worth photographing, and I tried to pass the time by counting the Mute Swans - there were about 75 of them, plus the Black one still. After some time, the Kingfisher suddenly re-appeared and landed on the top of the "branch", which is a bit closer to the hide than the "post". It then almost immediately immediately dived into the water, caught a fish, and returned to the branch, albeit lower down. It stayed for just long enough for a few shots, before zooming off again, with its fish - which looked a remarkably large one for it to swallow!

Posting this pic on the Oxon Bird Log soon elicited the ID of the fish - a perch.

Kingfisher with Perch
Kingfisher before catching the Perch

Thereafter, it was pretty quiet, apart from some very distant snatches of song that sounded to me like a Cetti's Warbler, but I couldn't be sure as they were very brief and distant.

There were plenty of the usual ducks to be seen, including Wigeon (now coming out of eclipse) and Teal. A Buzzard landed on the north shore, but with the light getting even worse after a couple of hours, it seemed time to head back.

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