Monday, 14 November 2011

Greater Yellowlegs, Hauxley Nature Reserve, Northumberland, 14 November 2011

Ive had a real rush today. I dropped Ellie off at school at 0830 in order to get up to Northumberland for the cracking Greater Yellowlegs that has been residing at Hauxley Nature Reserve for the past 2 days. I was hoping to see and photograph the bird, and then get back in time to pick Ellie up at 3 15pm.
It couldn't have gone any better really. I arrived at Hauxley about 1030, to be told by a leaving birder that the bird had disappeared. AAAARGH!
I decided to walk, quite briskly to the Eric Hide by the South Pool where the bird had been seen last. As I was walking up towards the small hide (not much bigger than a shed), birders were all stood on the bank viewing the bird at distance. I had a look over the fence, and indeed, the bird was feeding with a grey phalarope. Excellent.
Already in the bag, now the wait for it to come closer.
A birder then stepped out of the hide, and walked away. obviously satisfied with his views.
I asked if anyone was sitting in the now vacated spot (bang centre of the hide), to which I was told 'No'. I took my position in the hope the bird would walk past.
Within minutes, the bird took off and flew the opposite direction to the other side of the lake. Superb!
Its fed on the far bank for approximately 15 minutes, then flew back to where it had been earlier. All of a sudden it called, then flew again an landed right in front of the hide. It stood on a rock for a while then walked left before feeding on presumably a stickleback. Blinding views!
The bird then flew again, this time left in the direction of the Wader Hide. Most of us got up and headed to the other hide, which was massive compared to Eric Hide.
The bird had indeed flown round and was feeding on the perimeter edge of the lake. It then headed past the window and landed on the rocky area towards the left of the hide. The bird stood for a while before flying off to the island in the middle of the lake and out of site.
I took this opportunity to set off back, and go and pick Ellie up. I arrived at school with 40 minutes to spare, and a superb bird in the bag.

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