On Thursday I braved the nightmare trek to Potteric Carr. It took 30 minutes trying to get out of Hull, and after that it was a high speed journey being buffeted by gale force winds, to try & make up for lost time. Confusing roadworks near the entrance made the last few minutes a bit hairy, but we all got through it safely.
Treecreeper (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
Treecreeper (c) 2013 Phil Todd
The first few minutes were very quiet, but we did come across 2 separate flocks of Long-tailed Tits. As we neared the feeding station I heard a Treecreeper, which everyone managed to get decent views of, but the Willow Tit was a little trickier. The birds were all lined up waiting to be fed, but there was no food on the table. Birds seen here included: Reed Bunting, Coal, Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinch, a Jay, Dunnock, Blackbird, Pheasant, Canada Goose & Mute Swan. The Willow Tit appeared at least 3 times in the afternoon, but the Great Spotted Woodpecker and the Jay failed to put in an appearance.
Great Tit (c) 2013 Phil Todd
Chaffinch (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
Reed Bunting [male] (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
Reed Bunting [female] (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
Not far from the hide some of the group caught a glimpse of a shadow flying just over the surface of the water - our only view of the obligatory Kingfisher. We made the big hike to the Bittern hide, but the wind had taken its toll, so we only saw Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Teal here, although a Heron flew through, badly buffeted by the wind.
Gadwall (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
Mallard (c) 2013 Phil Todd
On the way back after we'd dropped off 10 people at the cafe we saw at least 3 Siskins (one male), the final treat were the 3 Bullfinches (1 male) on the final straight towards the reception. A late highlight in the afternoon was a male Kingfisher, which posed long enough for everyone to have a really good view.