Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Reserve on the Slide

On Wednesday we travelled across the Humber Bridge to one of our once favourite reserves. Again the morning felt like November at first, but the weather did get a little warmer throughout the day. We were asked to avoid the normal car park, so we shared cars along a bumpy road to a more exposed car park on the river bank. Before we set off a pair of Avocet flew over so all boded well for the day.  However, this disgraceful road may have been the cause of Miles's puncture

All bird pics (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart
Reed Warbler
From the car park we went anti-clockwise round the reserve for the 1st time. A Whitethroat proved elusive at first and then we made our way to the large hide. From here there were still Pochard and Tufted Ducks, but the Teal and Shoveler had gone to their breeding grounds. A Kestrel was the only raptor seen, but many other birds were reluctant to show themselves in the very cold condition. Plenty of Swifts had been forced down by the conditions and were hunting for food just above the reeds and the water.
The best hide was opposite the hotel, where we had close views of both Sedge and Reed Warblers and heard a Cetti's Warbler. Brian heard a Kingfisher as we approached the hide from the wrong direction. However, we didn't see it, so we may have inadvertently flushed it. We probably will go clockwise in future.

 Reed Bunting [female]
 Record Shot of Tawny Owl in Kestrel Box
 Canada Goslings
We carried on to walk beneath a Willow Warbler on the wires, and made it to the final hide. Here, we could see an Avocet on a possible nest on the Cormorant raft, and a pair of Common Terns. The best sighting here was made by Anthony who asked if there was 'something' in the owl box. As I'd was really a Kestrel box, I expected one of those, but it was a Tawny Owl. It remained in the box, just shuffling around to show a different side to itself, for the whole duration of our stay. When I mentioned wishing I'd brought a milk bottle, instead of assuming that it was to impersonate the sound of a Bittern, as I intended, one long-standing stalwart thought I'd been caught short!
On the return along the river bank the reluctant Whitethroat duly obliged and sang in the open for several minutes.
 Apple Blossom
 Ladysmock, Cuckoo Flower or Even Milkmaids

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