Thursday, 28 February 2013

From Black & White to Colour

Wednesday was virtually a rerun of the previous week's Tuesday.  Since that visit there had been an influx of Marsh Tits with a total of 4 found along a 3-mile linear length.  Also the previous week the Yellowhammers had only just seemed to have left their winter flocks.  yesterday there was some evidence of pairing up & several males were singing in the morning.  The Skylarks were also pouring out their song, but come 11am this virtually dried up.  3 Red Kites flew North west over us in the morning with 3 Buzzards also visible at the same time.  A Treecreeper was near the car park as the morning session came to an end - the afternoon walk in a westerly direction was deadly quiet in contrast.
Female Yellowhammer
Marsh Tit (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart
Marsh Tit (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart
Treecreeper (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart
Kestrel (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart

Tuesday was pretty much a repeat run of Thursday. There were slightly more species at the large hide incl; female Goldeneye, Pochard, Shoveler, Gadwall and Teal. The star bird was female a Marsh Harrier which seemed to hunt over every strand of reed, sometimes coming very close to the hide. The only species missing from Thursday was a Cormorant.  We walked round the reserve in the same manner and saw similar birds to last time. There were a few elusive Bullfinches, but the Goldeneye had gone from near the hotel. As we finished early we tried the new pools across the road and found a tail-less male Bullfinch with attendant females and a couple of more males. Rose spotted some Wigeon grazing on the bank,. On return to the car park we were told of the presence of a Red-Crested Pochard, so this became a target bird for the afternoon. The Willow Tits were again noticeable by their absence, but at the new visitor centre a Great Spotted Woodpecker was clamped to the peanuts, surrounded by Chaffinches and Greenfinch & some Mallards on the ground hoovering up any bits. A Great Crested Grebe was fishing in a pool right up to the visitor centre, but as soon as it saw me attempting to take its photograph it swam strongly away.
Marsh Harrier (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
Marsh Harrier (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
Marsh Harrier (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
Great Crested Grebe

On Friday we went round Hornsea Mere, and despite trying various times throughout the day were unable to find the Bittern, although someone asked what a strange bird was on the water, which turned out to be a Black-necked Grebe. Later, after much searching we were able to discern a distant Great Northern Diver. The walk through the woodland was very quiet with only a Great Spotted Woodpecker breaking the monotony.
Record shot of Black-necked Grebe

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