Monday, 24 May 2010

Birthday Gift

Today I was a Birthday present for the 1st time! An old work colleague thought the prefect present for her mother-in-law would be a morning out at a nature reserve with me on hand to identify all the wildlife. So at 9 o’clock, Dorrie, her son Tony, and her friend Janice arrivedfor their first ever visit to North Cave Wetlands. I arrived early & checked out the Wood Sandpiper’s location for later.
We began with good views of a Whitethroat singing in one of the dead elm trees, quickly followed by a singing Goldfinch. A Reed Bunting, the first of many, was also in the back of a dead elm. Some Tufted Ducks flew over, and the air was thick with Sand Martins. A Wren serenaded us along the path and a Skylark could be heard singing further away. We saw our first Avocet on Main Lake, where we also added Common Tern, Black-headed Gull, Gadwall (a ‘lifer’ for Dorrie), Pochard, Greylag Goose, Redshank, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Pied Wagtail & Little & Great Crested Grebe. We also watched a Lapwing dive-bombing a hapless Rook.
The walk around Carp Lake added Willow Warbler, Blackbird, Great Tit, Woodpigeon & Dunnock; whilst around Far Lake we saw a pair of Red-Legged partridge, several Wall Brown & Speckled Wood butterflies, and a few almost colourless Blue-tailed Damselflies. There was a Song Thrush singing strongly here, and a Pheasant ran for cover.
Reedbed Lake was more interesting and we heard several Reed Warblers, and glimpsed a Sedge Warbler and more Reed Buntings. A Corn Bunting could be heard jangling its keys on the other side of the tall hedge, and a couple of Oystercatchers were in a field with several Lapwing. A Linnet flew over heading north, whilst a Shoveler slept on an island on Reedbed Lake. A Jackdaw allowed us to approach fairly close on the path whilst a male Common Blue butterfly landed on some vegetation. A Four-Spotted Chaser Dragonfly showed well near the Dragonfly Ponds, but a Small Tortoiseshell was more evasive.
Unfortunately, Turret Hide, which should have been the highlight proved to be a great disappointment. It had been invaded by a very noisy group, who were loudly shouting out all the birds they could see. Presumably, their noise had frightened off the Wood Sandpiper, of which there was now no sign. The only new bird added here was a Lesser Black Backed Gull, but the highlight was a pair of Avocets with 3 chicks which were being dive-bombed by an angry Lapwing, whose partner was on a nearby nest.
The walk to East Hide added a Blue Tit, whilst a Ringed Plover could be seen from the hide itself. Also seen here were a pair of Swifts, a Carrion Crow, and on the walk back Sparrows could be heard in the hedge with Tree Sparrows heading towards their box in a tree. Back at Angela’s buttie wagon a Greenfinch flew over taking the number of birds seen by me to 46, but Dorrie reckons we had 56! Whichever, the correct figure I’m sure Dorrie was well pleased with her Birthday introduction to the wildlife wonders of North Cave Wetlands.
Photographs are from the top Acocet in flight [(c) 2010 Tony Grassby], 2 Avocets, Lapwing [female], Chaffinch, Common Tern, 4 Spotted Chhaser [(c) 2010 Tony Grassby, Common Blue, Green-veined White, and Damselfly (c) 2010 Tony Grassby.


kirstallcreatures said...

What a lovely birthday gift, and how nice to be a key part of it.

Michael Flowers said...

Ah hem, I did charge a fee!

kirstallcreatures said...

Tee hee, yes I realised that, but still a lovely gift. Best wishes, Linda