Friday, 8 November 2013

A Splash of Gold

We had our first visit to the year to a particular estuarine location. At first it was beautiful: a Marsh Harrier hunting as seen from the car park, and a smattering of ducks and gulls. Linnets, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits flew over, but they must have been fairly high, as they couldn't be seen against the very bright sky. However, the wind soon picked up and made the day less bearable. The reedbeds were sparkling in the sunlight, but Wrens seemed the most numerous birds in there. I did hear the single "ping" of a Bearded Tit a little later, but it was never repeated, and we certainly didn't see the bird.

Grey Wagtail
 Marsh Harrier
 Golden Plover
Once we left the factory buildings behind we could obtain a better all round view, and son several Skylark took the air, and a few of them were singing. Once we caught sight of the marsh, which has been hidden behind a massive floodbank, we could see Lapwings, and Golden Plovers, which were hunkered down in the long grass. Greylag Geese and Starlings were also present, but last year's Herons were absent.
We arrived at the Fishing Lake and this had a diverse population of Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Mute Swans and Coot. The skiing lake was much quieter, and at first there didn't appear to be a single bird, but Claire first spotted a Grey Wagtail, followed by a pair of Little Grebe. The only other bird on the water was a Moorhen, while a male Reed Bunting and a charm of a Goldfinches were flying around.
Grey Plover
 Long-tailed Tit
 Roe Deer

This was the extent of our walk, and the remainder of the morning consisted of a March back to the car park. On the return journey, not a single new species was added to the tally.
In the afternoon the tide had begun to leave some exposed mud, and on here there were some Black-tailed Godwits and a new species for me at this site: 4 Grey Plovers. Of course there were Redshank and Lapwings, but the Golden Plovers were under the radar. 2 Snipe flew up from the marsh area, and a male Marsh Harrier brightened the afternoon, as did a female Sparrowhawk. Three Roe Deer grazed in the open during our return journey. 

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