Get orf moi pond!

Yesterday there was a bloody kayak on the pits and some angler in it. That’s the first time in 11 years that I’ve seen a craft on the water, now my concern is that he’ll keep coming back and will bring his mates next time. There must be a million acres of water he could fish locally but no, he has to pick St-Lazare sand pits where the ducks and geese come to escape the hunters. My advisor tells me that I cannot buy a rifle and punch holes in his kayak if he reappears, pity, it would be very relaxing for me, perhaps not so much for him.

Don’t anybody dare comment about birding from kayaks, any craft on the water at the pits scares everything, they are fine on the huge water bodies we have locally but not on my pond.

Now that I have got that off my chest, well, he wasn’t there today. The birding continues to be good with 50+ species yesterday and today. There are still many warblers about but you have to work for them, ducks and shorebirds are also starting to gain momentum. Below is a bad photo of seven Blue-winged Teal that arrived today, along with the first autumn American Wigeon (far right).

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In the little wood the ‘beware of the dog’ sign has gone. I don’t know whether to owner removed it or someone else. Thankfully nobody took any notice anyway, it’s just some horsy chancer trying to keep people out, not a good policy in a public wood.

Today I managed to find a Northern Parula for my pits year list, 154 and counting. I still have some easy gaps to fill and I’m thinking I might nudge just 170 this year. The parula was hard to photograph, against the light and what with the camera sitting in unskilled hands and all that.

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Green Herons are busy at the moment with up to three around. This adult looks a bit over-cooked but honestly, they are born that way. This garish bird was a bit distant but that’s never stopped me. I tried stalking but it kept running away.

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Back in the woods and I was pleased to get a good look at this male Cape May Warbler. The light was iffy but I got this one untypical pose to come out reasonably sharp – a good chance to get the new warblers book out to compare. If you’ve not bought it yet, you should, no more mystery fall warblers (unless they are hybrids). Details here

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Don’t suppose many of you saw the BBC wildlife photographer of the year results but the urban category was won by a real piece of junk I can’t understand why my entry never made the cut if this camera phone special of a pet goose did. Below is my entry.


Hawk migration is underway but at a trickle pace. As I sit on the back deck writing this I’ve had an Osprey and a Sharp-shinned Hawk over. There might have been more but I still have to look at the keys to type. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a Broad-winged Hawk Passage like last years. On a couple of dates there were regular kettles going over, my best ever passage. Here is a throwback picture from the time.

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I happened across this less skittish Least Sandpiper so took advantage.

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I’m still getting a couple of Caspian Terns at the pits most days. The young bird, who I call Casper, (You can’t buy creative genius like that) is pretty independent now but still begs off the parent. For such a hefty bird the young one makes such a pitiful noise, but it seems to work and the parent still fusses over it when it returns from a fishing circuit.

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eBird have dedicated this month as patch birding month, see for their take. Patch birding is still rather low profile here, although it is gathering supporters as people realise what fun it can be. With this in mind I intend to visit the pits at least once a day, each day including weekends throughout September (no change there then). My weekend visits will be from first light and I’ll be gone before the first clutch of kids and dogs show up.

This year, for my own interest and not because I’m some sort of sad anorak, I’ve been keeping monthly stats for the pits. Last month I hit 97 species, in May I managed 102. This month I’m up to 77 already but I’ll have to hope that the promised weather change at the weekend dumps down a few flycatchers and the warblers I’m missing for the month, plus some hirundines please.

Well, plenty there to comment about. I’ve been rude to anglers, but most can’t read so I’m safe there and I’ve been rude to the BBC, but everyone is so no change there either. Happy times. Oh and just so you understand the post title. There is a magazine called Viz with a character called ‘Farmer Palmer’ who wants people off his land whatever the law says. Viz is not for people of a nervous and sensitive disposition!


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