Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Way Old Friends Do

Another terrible weather day, another day at North Cave Wetlands. 
The day started well with a Curlew over the car park, swiftly followed by the flight call of a Green Woodpecker. We hadn't been walking long along Dryham Lane when Chris Cox spotted the Green Woodpecker right on the edge of the road and the grassy verge. It allowed us to approach fairly close, but we had good views of it flying across the road and hopping about on the verge. A single Meadow Pipit flew over, and a large charm of Goldfinches.

Kingfisher (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
 Green Woodpecker (c) 2013 Chris Cox
 Green Woodpecker (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
 Goldfinches (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
 Little Grebes (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce

There seemed to have been a clear out of birds on the Main Lake, but we did see 5 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Little Grebes including one of the latter, which ran on the water. 2 Snipe spent a short period on the edge of the lake before disappearing into the the vegetation.

Kingfisher (c) 2013 Chris Cox

We were just entering the gate to make a circuit of the reserve, when I spotted a Kingfisher flying low over the water towards South Hide. Maggie & Chris crept back there and were rewarded with excellent views in the semi-gloom, including a period when it landed on the ground in front of the hide!  We hadn't seen either Green Woodpeckers for months at this location, years in the case of the Kingfisher, so it was like meeting old friends.  Lets hope they'll be still there on future visits.
There were Fieldfare, Redwings & Siskins in the bushes around the perimeter. Gadwall and Wigeon were on Carp Lake and Far Lake respectively. 
 Whooper Swans (c) 2013 Chris Cox
Whooper Swans (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
 Skylark (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
 Greylag v Pink-Footed Geese (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
 ditto, but (c) 2013 Chris Cox
There was a family of 5 Whooper Swans on Reedbed Lake, but they took fright at the massed ranks of the large Tuesday am group & flew to the new flooded area in front of Crosslands hide. When we were watching them there in the afternoon another pair of adults flew in, making 8 Whooper Swans in total. During our morning walk a male Marsh Harrier flushed all the Teal from Village Lake. As we emerged from the big hedge we had good views of many individuals making up an exaltation of Skylarks. In the same fields was a large flock of Greylag Geese  
 Redshank (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
Teal were the main birds seen from Turret Hide, but we failed to find a single Snipe. On the way back to East hide a female Sparrowhawk dived out of deep cover with small prey in her talons, plus the remains of the tree the bird had been sat in! We flushed her 3 more times, after she'd dropped half the tree she was carrying - the last time after we'd been in the East hide, and it still hadn't plucked its prey. She eventually flew to an area of the reserve from where she was unlikely to be disturbed. In the afternoon Linda spotted a Snipe, and after that we managed to find 4 more. 
Cormorant (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
 Rook (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce
 House Sparrow (c) 2013 Maggie Bruce

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