Wednesday, 19 March 2014

All Swimming, All Dancing

It was a noticeably colder morning when we met on the other side of the Humber Bridge.  We started off in the Main Hide, which we were lucky enough to have to ourselves.  It seemed the channel was bereft of birds, but Maggie spotted a Snipe hiding amongst the sawn-off reeds.  Eventually, further searching resulted in another 6 individuals.  Later, one swam across the gap, and finally one fluttered gently across.  On the water itself were the usual suspects, but Maggie must have been on fire as she also successfully identified a female Goldeneye.  For some reason this seems to be a female duck which many people have difficulty in identifying.  There was also a European race Cormorant and a youngster on the new raft.  The Snipe were still present in the afternoon.
Swimming Snipe
 Flying Snipe
 Landing Snipe
 The Fox & the Magpie
We walked round the reserve in a clockwise direction, and found 2 singing Chiffchaffs.  In the open area we came across several Bullfinches.  There were almost as many as 10 with a couple of Chaffinches in tow.  The Bullfinches were completely absent last Thursday, but it appeared they had just arrived, as they were jostling with each other over which partner belonged to which individual. 
The river bank added few extra birds, but we could just make out some Redshanks and Shelducks at Chowder Ness.  From Reedy Hide we could see the female Tawny Owl on her nest - a much better view now the mist had cleared.  Right in front of the hide was a sleeping drake Goldeneye, a Shoveler, and some ducks on the bank - Teal and Gadwall.  In the afternoon 2 female Goldeneye had moved in front of the hide. 
Dozing Goldeneye
 Female Goldeneye
 Diving Goldeneye
 Erm... Tawny Owl
The Kingfisher hide was rather disappointing both morning and afternoon.  We were informed we'd missed a Water Rail, while Carolyn had plenty of sightings from the hide, looking at the back of the photographer's camera.  A pair of Great Crested Grebes swam out of cover, did a little synchronised snorkelling & then hid away from us. 
Great Crested Grebes
 Synchronised Snorkelling
In the morning we finished early, so we crossed the road and walked round the edge of the new pools.  The first had a pair of Crested Crested Grebes on it, whilst the other contained Tufted Duck, Pochard, Black- headed Gulls.  We had nearly reached the final lake before we located the unobtrusive Wigeon grazing in a dip.  Further on we flushed a Curlew, which flew off towards the estuary.  We didn't encounter of the site staples - a Kingfisher or a Marsh Harrier.  Of a Bittern there was absolutely no evidence they are still at this site.

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