Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Magnus is back!

I'm very happy to see Magnus, my friend and co-worker from last year return to the Observatory this last week. He will work with us for 2 months and his knowledge and good humour make the work and the place feel very light-hearted. As last year, me and Magnus have decided to have a birding competition throughout May to see who can see the most species. For some reason I keep helping him out and now he is in the lead with some pretty hard to find species! So far the intense birding in the competition has produced a few nice birds, notable are Red Breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva) and Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii).

Whilst out on survey this morning I had an unforgettable experience! Stood alone in a marsh just after dawn I heard a deep nasal call coming from just inside the reed bed. I carried on with my work (Wetland survey) regardless until I started seeing birds flying up and out of the reed, obviously disturbed by something. I watched a little longer and was amazed to see a Moose walk out into the open about 200metres away. She then turned and walked straight towards me slowly over the thick mud of the marsh. I slowly reached for my camera and began to take pictures. This was until she got too close for comfort so I took my eyes away from the camera. She stood there around 5-7 Metres away totally still, she'd spotted me now surely. I stood up properly and actually shooed her away making little noise. She took about 15 steps back and then partially concealed by reed she stood and stared at me for around 25 minutes. I couldn't really concentrate knowing she was gazing at me. She settled to the idea that I wasn't going to hurt her and so she came back out into the open and feed, drank and looked awfully like a big dopey horse.

I got a few pictures of her before I had to leave...

Half an hour later at a different part of the reserve I had a Beaver swim right underneath me whilst I took a video of him. A decent day for birds, unforgettable however for Mammals.

shit. Just got a call saying Blue-wined Teal found on the Reserve! Wish me luck...

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