Monday, 6 July 2009

Death of a Cleg

Another grand day of sunshine with the threat of rain that never materialised until later in the day. Otters were first on the list this morning but it was just the dog Otter having a snooze. We left him too it expecting to get some action on the way back round. Off to the WT Eagle to be greeted by the chick lying down and the sudden appearance of mum while watching 30 Crossbills flying round. The chick was very vocal today which added a nice touch to the viewing. A couple of Crossbill were making brief appearences behind us and eventually one of them posed long enough for this snap.Back to the Otter only to find the tide had dropped away and lazy bones still asleep. He looked up once and it looked like he was thinking 'I'll stay here till the tide comes back in!' - we left him to it. A brief look around the ridges for Golden Eagle only produced a juv WT Eagle but it performed well. The female bird from earlier was also sitting on the ridge viewing her patch. Clouds were starting to build up in the distance so we made haste to lunch but not before picking up four sumplum Red-throated Divers, a RB Merg and this Common Sandpiper.With an Adder in the bag and Dipper on a plate we commenced eating. I was in full conversation with one of the guests when their eyes bulged and the jaw dropped. I threw my sandwich to one side and raced for the camera, switched it on and pointed in the direction of right of the picture if you missed it. Gutted! It flapped once...........then Golden Eagled into the distance - what a view as it went over though!Now, I'm fond of most wildlife but I can't see the point in the midge. It's really small and when it bites it hurts so you kill it - what's the point in that? Clegs are much the same but huge in comparison. They bite, it hurts for a second then it goes numb - a much better idea except the pain usually makes you swear involuntarily and then you kill it. They could have as much blood as they liked if they didn't hurt - you know it makes sense. Anyway, I was really pleased to see my pet spider catch a Cleg in the motor - brakes on, camera out........traffic appears from nowhere so I parked properly and just in time to see the Cleg get carried off for supper - YES!!!That was me made up for the day - the best bit of wildlife watching I've done in ages. Even the Meadow Pipits were dancing with glee!The weather was starting to catch us up but we'd covered most of the bases by now. Mountian Hare was spotted just before the heavens opened but just prior to spotting that we had a Common Snipe running down the road in front of the motor before flying off. Northern Wheatears are out in force with all the youngsters on the go and always cracking birds to see.

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