Friday, 22 February 2013

Blowing Cold & Colder

On Thursday we shared cars over the Humber Bridge. It was a full house with just one am member missing. There was quite a lot of noise and chatter from the car park feeding station, but mainly just Sparrows, Chaffinches,a Greenfinch & Dunnocks. We crammed into the upstairs of both sides of the large hide. There wasn't a great deal to see here apart from: Coots, and a Cormorant, but eventually Phil spotted a Tufted Duck, which actually became a moment of excitement, and 3 Teal left the cover of the reedbed & flew to another pool. We waited for a couple of wintery showers to subside before moving on.

All photos (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
Great Crested Grebe
The Lord of the Rings tunnel was almost completely bereft of birds, and it seems too early for the chomping Bullfinches to be pecking on every bud down there. We reached a newish hide, but there were only a few Tufted Ducks and plenty of Pochard here. The riverbank yielded 7 Redshank and a couple of Dunlin. We trekked to the flood safety area, where we saw several Shelduck and a single Curlew. Despite the forecast the riverbank wasn't as perishing as it was supposed to be, but there weren't many birds to see, just a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls flying past. However, the cold wind had materialised when we reached this area in the afternoon. The wind had either picked up in strength or had just became a lot colder after lunch. 
On the way to the next hide one small bird flew up and perched briefly, it was a solitary Lesser Redpoll, but it didn't perch long enough for everyone to see all its details. The view from the hide was the reverse of the first hide, and the only new species was a sleeping drake Shoveler, which hadn't been visible from the green hide because it snoozed protected by the reeds. Brian was the 1st to spot this same bird after lunch when it was even more concealed.  Ken was able to identify it in his 'scope.

There was nothing else to see here, so we carried on, and first discovered a pair of Song Thrushes, and then came upon a pair of Bullfinches demolishing Hawthorn buds. There was a lot of loud industrial noise coming from near the Hotel, and this may have been why there were no Goldeneyes to see there, so there was no chance of any Smew. The only other birds here were a pair of well separated Great Crested Grebes, but also a pair of Tufted Ducks.
The afternoon was even quieter with very few small birds seen with no Bullfinches, no Lesser Redpoll, and no pair of Song Thrushes, but we did have a Redwing. Gordon spotted a Goldeneye from the 1st hide, then we had another pair near the hotel, which had obviously returned to their favourite spot now the industrial noise and burning had been toned down. The highlight of the late afternoon session was the jousting combat between two opposing pairs of fighting Mute Swans. Finally, a male Great Spotted Woodpecker was near the feeding station, and perched near the top of an alder tree were it was seen by every participant. 
Mute Swan

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