Friday, 3 February 2012

First West Hartford tick of 2012

I went to West Hartford at mid afternoon yesterday, not for a look at the owls but at the gulls. Usually when I take my scope to WH it is blowing a gale and I can’t get a proper look at the gulls as a result but yesterday there was no wind so I though it was as good time as any to find an Iceland or Glaucous Gull.

As I was setting up my scope at a safe distance, a flock of 25 Meadow Pipit flew over and landed on the ground in front of me briefly before flying off again.
As I approached the rubbish pile a Short Eared Owl lifted form the ground behind it and joined another hunting over the marshy field.

100+ Lapwing were on the main pool along with BH, Common and adult, and juvenile Herring Gulls. The only interesting gull I could see was one, which looked similar to a juvenile Herring gull but was significantly paler with an almost white head.
I was just about to take a better look at it when all of the birds on the pool lifted and only half relanded. The reason they got up was a Fox ran between the two pools before walking off into the fields behind the substation.

Around 30 Teal had also lifted from the main pool before landing again in the NW corner, when I looked closer I could see that 6 Mallard were also in the NW corner along with 2 drake Wigeon – a long overdue WH patch tick for me!

AS I approached the main pool I noticed another two SEO. One was sitting on a fence post behind the main pool and another was even closer on the metal railing.
The two Owls I had previously seen were now fighting with each other over the marshy field, hissing and screeching as they wrestled in mid air.
As I was leaving a GS Woodpecker flew over the entrance plantation.

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