Friday, 30 April 2010

A Fly-Eating Great Crested Grebe

Reed Warbler
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe - watching for flies!
Speckled Wood
Yesterday we defied the weather forecast and went ahead with sessions as planned. As it turned out the rain didn't really affect us, and only strengthened after the classes had finished. It was this term's final visit to this reedbed location. At least 3 Cetti's Warblers were singing, and a single booming Bittern could be heard in the afternoon. We had our best view of a Reed Warbler so far this year, but the Sedgies were harder to see. The Bullfinches were heard but not seen. Other Warblers present were: Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and a heard only Lesser Whitethroat. One surprise was a pair of Yellow Wagtails on the grassy strip in front of the main hide, which flew off before everyone on the pm session could spot them among the dandelions. I think that's the 1st time I've seen Yellow Wagtails at this particular reserve.
The duck species included courting Pochard, plus Gadwall, Tufted Duck, a pair of Shoveler, and 2 Shelduck flew in from the Humber. The only waders were Curlew flying over. A flock of 5 Swifts kept sweeping over the reserve - our first of the year, and a few Swallows were seen, but no Martins were observed. The Great Crested Grebe gave close views as it spent its time plucking flies from the water. A pair of Little Grebe were heard in the afternoon, but they refused to come out into the open. Unfortunately, there was no sound of the Grasshopper Warblers which had swamped the reserve only a matter of days earlier! One of the best afternoon views was a slow fly-past by a solitary but stunning Kingfisher - they seem in short supply this year!

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