Thursday, 18 February 2010

A Day of 2 Halves

All pics today (c) 2010 Maurice Gordon
Mute Swan
In the morning we went to a reedbed, whilst in the afternoon we visited an unusual wetland/agricultural habitat. The Shovelers were definitely getting ready for the breeding season with groups of 4 or 5 drakes pressurizing single females. Duck numbers have begun to increase after the thawing of the ice, and there were also plenty of Teal, Gadwall, Pochard and Friday afternooners. However, the Snipe usually present at this reserve were still absent, as were drake Goldeneyes. We enjoyed good views of Bullfinches, and there was a Long-tailed Tit on the feeders, plus several other species. Unfortunately, the 3 Marsh Harriers, present last week, only put in an appearance at lunch time, as did a Heron and a Cormorant. It was very overcast in the afternoon, so I didn’t hold out too much hope for the raptors, but participants saw Buzzards on the way to the venue, and one of the first birds spotted was a Marsh Harrier very close to the car park. Later there was a terrific storm of Linnet noise in a hedge, which heralded the appearance of a Kestrel. However, apart from a reappearance of the Marsh Harrier, that was the last of the birds of prey seen. In addition to the 30+ Linnets we saw a flock of nearly 10 Yellowhammers, and Brian spotted a pair of flying Cormorants and a solitary Heron. We were able to see the potential of this site, and hope future visits will coincide with more amenable weather conditions.

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