Reed Warbler (juvenile)
Coming in to land
One of the 2 candidates for paternity
Ugly bleeder - nearly gives human babies a run for their money
Today's morning session was changed to Tophill Low at short notice, and the afternoon one cancelled because of a dreadful weather forecast, which failed to materialise. Is it possible to sue the Met Office for dispensing incorrect information? Anyway, the morning group saw about 56 species, which is pretty good going, and almost everywhere you looked there were young birds. One female Pochard had 12 chicks, and another had 9; not bad for a species which is only supposed to be a winter visitor according to most bird ID guides! A female Ruddy Duck had 7 ducklings & her brood was guarded by herself flanked by 2 drakes. This species isn't going to be exterminated without a fight! There were young Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers, Tree Sparrows, Greenfinches, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Coots, Mistle Thrushes, Mute Swans, Pheasants, and Rabbits, of course. There was only one Shelduck chick; wheareas a week ago there had been 6, so something is taking advantage of nature's bounty. Even the Spotted Flycatcher seemed to be turning her eggs. Also present a Water Vole, a Fox, and either 3 or 4 Grass Snakes - plenty of variety. The reserve was new to at least two of today's visitors, and they were blown away by the place. Perhaps, they'll change their minds on a cold, wet, windy day in November or February!