All pics for today's post (c) 2009 Aileen Urquhart
Shoveler - standard view
The forecast for today was pretty foul, so we had to abandon our trip to look for possible Rough-legged Buzzards & went to our standby bad weather location. However, the weather was even fouler than expected, although luckily the wind had dropped. On the way here in a small pond near the village church, Anthony identified a Goosander. In the circumstances the class were given the option of driving to the first hide, which the majority accepted! We were able to watch a Little Grebe swimming underwater & catch a fairly large fish, and a Great Crested also swam close by. We had 4 different sightings of Green Woodpeckers, which probably means there were at least 2 birds, but that's as accurate as we can be. A female Bullfinch flew along Dryham Lane, whilst a pair were round the back of the reserve in the afternoon, when the rain had abated & we were able to do a full circuit of the reserve. The morning session drove back to the main parking area & walked in the rain to the largest hide. The best bird here was a Ruff, hiding among Redshank, but we also saw plenty of Snipe & the usual duck species. The Ruff stayed long enough for everyone to note it's salient plumage detail, before it flew off with some Redshank. Again, there were some Barnacle Geese, and hybrids among the Greylags feeding on an unharvested potato crop. There was a riot of Honey Fungus along the main track to East hide. The weather was drier in the afternoon, but it became quite dark, so it wasn't always easy to pick out ID features - again there were plenty of Snipe hiding away, but also small flocks circling the reserve from time-to-time. A small flash of water has appeared on the potato field, which may be worth checking (if it remains) for interesting waders. Hope this crummy weather improves soon.