Friday, 7 February 2014

Visiting Brideshead

On Thursday we went to Brideshead for the first time as a birding location. We entered through a gate and began walking down a very muddy slippery path. Eventually we made it through to a less muddy area. There was a Skylark over the car parking area, and a Reed Bunting in the reeds as we went through the gate. On the lake there were Wigeon, Gadwall and Friday Unmentionables. Not long afterwards we saw our first drake Goldeneye with a female on either side. There were more and more wildfowl ahead, although the light was rather tricky at first. 
All wildlife pictures apart from the Treecreeper (c) 2014 Richard Whateley
 A Friday Unmentionable

We carried on until we arrived opposite an island, which was absolutely festooned with Cormorants. Some of these were perched on the edge of nests and at least one bird was seen carrying in nesting material. While we were standing here we were told about some Pintail, and I managed to locate 2 drakes in the telescope for everyone to look at. I thought I'd spotted a female Scaup when suddenly a Kingfisher flew past at the back of the lake. It landed in some twigs and I managed to get the scope on it, but only Jan managed to see it before it was off again. I wasn't able to pick out the ghostly Scaup again. While the rest were observing and identifying duck species, Maggie spotted a Treecreeper. Unfortunately, myself & Chris were only quick enough to see it flying off. 

Cormorant Colony
 Cormorant carrying nesting material
 Mute Swans
 About to Swallow a Morsel
Other birds seen included: Canada & Greylag Geese, a few Teal, but the Pochard and the Shoveler were noticeable by their absence. On the walk back we saw a distant Mistle Thrush, and a Wren in the reeds at our feet, and a pair of noisy Great Tits. There were relatively few small passerines in the area. The afternoon bucked the normal trend with first a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a pair of Treecreepers, a flock of Chaffinches, 3 Fieldfare, and a pair of Greenfinches flew out of the caravan park and twittered in the trees along the path.  We also enjoyed a better view of a flying male Goosander in the afternoon who settled in the western edge of the car.  It tried to avoid us by skirting the far edge of the lake.

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