Saturday, 24 September 2016

A red letter day at Martin Mere

It's always a red letter day when I get a new bird for Martin Mere, and today was just such a day. When I heard that there had been a great white egret seen from the Ron Barker hide I decided to call in and try my luck, half expecting it to be gone when I got there.  Fortunately it was still present when I arrived in the hide, but it was out of view in Boat House Sluice (the deep sluice which runs between the Ron Barker hide and the United Utilities hide).  Every now and again I managed to get a glimpse of its head as it walked through the ditch, and on a couple of occasions it flew up and but then dropped down almost immediately. A tick but frustratingly poor views . However eventually I spotted it walking towards the hide and quite close, and fortunately it climbed up onto the bank for a minute allowing great views.

Martin Mere has always been one of my favourite birding places, and my WWT membership has always been, and probably always will be the last membership I'd let go when times are hard. I've been a member for 41 years, since I first visited the place with my dad in January 1975, before it was open, and we met and were given our own private tour by the original currator Peter Gladstone. According to my database, today was my 411th visit, though this will be an under estimate, because in the early days (i.e. the first 10 years) I didn't always record every visit, and also because when I digitised my notebooks a few years ago, I omitted a few of the less inspiring visits simply because of the huge amount of data I had to input. Also I've been a volunteer for two periods and I didn't always include those visits in my records, unless I happened to see something good. So it's always a good day when I get a new bird for the reserve (new for me on the reserve I mean)

There has been a big build up of geese over the past week, from 6000 last Tuesday to around 15000 today. There'll probably be double that number next week.

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