Monday, 21 May 2012

A trip to Noddle Hill and a Cuckoo

Still with a dark cover of clouds and a chilly wind today, we go for a long walk to Noddle Hill. The Hawthorn is blooming and there are quite a few wild flowers, although we also notice some patches of invasive Japanese Knotweed. As usual, the area is a riot of bird song: Chiffchaffs, Robin, Willow Warblers and Chaffinches greet us in the car park. I hear a Cuckoo in the distance, but I don't hear it again, and with a Collared dove calling nearby, I think it is just wishful thinking.
 As we walk on the open side of the reserve, dotted with mounds of bramble and lone hawthorns, Whitethroats, and a singing Sedge Warbler (above) become apparent. We see see little flocks of Linnets and watch a singing male Reed Bunting.
 Then the Cuckoo calls again, this time much closer to us and there is no mistaken its clear, musical two note call with the Collared Dove's. We sit on a bench and a few minutes later the Cuckoo flies across the field to its next singing post, with wings sharp like scythes and its long narrow tail. It is our first Cuckoo of the year and it is great to see it too.
In the lake, the two families of Greylag geese rest by the water side. The goslings are quite big and the adults seem to be moulting, with lots of primary feathers lying about. They have 3 and 1 gosling left.
Two Reed Warblers sing away by the reeds fringing parts of the lake, but they are near the water side and we do not get a glimpse of them.
View of Red Admiral alley
Monacha cantiana snails keeping dry atop a stem
A view of the grassy, rolling side of the reserve, with sleeping Magpie
An Amber snail far from water
Singing Reed Bunting
Another view of the edge of the reserve
A gander defending its only surviving gosling
Chaffinch singing by the car park

Bird list

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blackcap
  3. Blue Tit
  4. Carrion Crow
  5. Chaffinch
  6. Chiffchaff
  7. Collared Dove
  8. Coot
  9. Cuckoo
  10. Goldfinch
  11. Greylag Goose
  12. Herring Gull
  13. Jackdaw
  14. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  15. Linnet
  16. Long-tailed Tit
  17. Magpie
  18. Mallard
  19. Pheasant
  20. Reed Bunting
  21. Reed Warbler
  22. Robin
  23. Sedge Warbler
  24. Skylark
  25. Starling
  26. Swallow
  27. Whitethroat
  28. Willow Warbler
  29. Woodpigeon
  30. Wren

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