On Monday I was violently sick for the first time since I was at school, accompanied by alternating shiverings and then sweatings, so I didn't expect I'd recover quickly enough for the first classes on Tuesday. In the morning I couldn't manage any breakfast, but I swathed myself in many layers and started the group off on our way across the railway line at Welton. When we reached the first lane there was no sign of the other week's Redpoll, it's place taken by many Goldfinches.
All photos (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
We carried on down the lane and reached a parking area near a pond. Here, were a couple of sleeping Mute Swans and a Moorhen, but little else until I heard the call of a Woodpecker. Shortly afterwards we had seen a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and eventually a third was seen. I was later told that this species is by no means a resident at the this site, so they may have been birds of continental origin. We carried on to the big water skiing lake, but there was little to see here. We were later informed that it is suspected that some blue/green dye has been added to the water to kill some of the underwater vegetation, and this seems to have deterred the birds.
Male Great Spotted Woodpecker
This is where I had to abandon the morning group, so the following photos were all taken after my departure. In the afternoon we carried on to the river bank, where we could hear estuary birds, but these were screened by the dense reeds. We looked into the angler's pool, which was stuffed with wildfowl including: Wigeon, a striking drake Goldeneye, some females, some Tufted Ducks, but Pochard and Gadwall seemed to be missing. It seems that the morning group saw Fieldfare and Golden Plovers, but these were absent after lunch.
The tide wasn't quite at its highest extent, and there were a few scattered waders along the foreshore including a Dunlin, a Grey Plover, some Redshanks, and in the far distance some Godwits.