Today we were able to visit a brand new nature reserve, and the morning group encountered 45 species. The sighting highlight was a Kingfisher, probably only seen by 2 (incl the tutor); whilst the best bird heard was a Grasshopper Warbler – again only heard by 2 (incl the tutor & a different participant). In the afternoon the Kingfisher was almost in the same place, and was seen by all but one participant.
In the morning I made the mistake of walking round the edge of the reserve, and although this yielded Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler, it would have been better to have plunged straight into the bushes by the way-marked paths. In the afternoon we tried this method, but by that time the small passerine birds had largely vanished. The strong winds prevented many birds from being tempted to sing high from exposed song-posts. One notable exception were the Linnets, which on today’s showing seemed to be the most ubiquitous species, as we came across them everywhere throughout the northern section of the site.
The Kingfisher was in the area of the pumping station, and near here were breeding Tree Sparrows and Swallows collecting mud. A Lesser Whitethroat was heard singing and was even observed by the afternoon group. The Sedge warblers were much quieter after lunch, and the Grasshopper and Reed Warblers remained completely silent.
Les spotted a large female Sparrowhawk which gave good views before disappearing towards North Bransholme. The only other raptor species seen was a Kestrel in the morning & a pair near the parking area during the last part of the lunch hour.
The morning group, especially, were much impressed with the site, and are keen to visit again without a biting north-easterly wind.
Linnet [female] (c) 2012 Tony Robinson
The Duck which Cannot be Named
Small Tortoiseshell [very worn]
Immature Gull Trying to Devour a Fish