Monday, 10 September 2012

A busy morning at North Cave Wetlands

I had the chance to go birdwatching this morning without children and I thought that a site with hides would be ideal - kids have very little patience for hides, and there is always fights for binoculars. I settled for North Cave Wetlands. It was a bit breezy, but quite mild and, although overcast, there were a few brief sunny spells.
 I had a long stop at East Hide. There was an enormous mixed flock of Greylag and Canada, with one or two hybrids, a few white ferals and a lone Barnacle Goose. Skeins of geese landed on the water and then all flocked close together, honking non-stop. Lapwings were also in abundance, their squeaking noises reminded me of a frog in distress. A Little Grebe pair with two young fed near the raft, and many ducks in eclipse could be seen. A Snipe flew by, the first I see this year, but there were more to come.
I moved then to Turret Hide, my favourite, as it is surrounded by wetlands with islands and grassy beaches and the views are fantastic. There was plenty to watch, including a group of shy Pink Footed Geese, kindly pointed to me by a young birdwatcher. An immature Common Tern fished around, while a couple of Jackdaws sat on the perches, trying to impersonate Cormorants. On the islands, Common Pochards, a Wigeon and many Shovelers in eclipse. A little flock of six Snipe fed on a grassy beach and a Kestrel hunted over a nearby field. There were also many Gadwalls and the males looked like they had their new plumage on.
Finally, I headed for South Hide, which was disapointing at first, after the hustle and bustle of the previous hides. A pair of Great Crested Grebes, some Pochards and Tufted ducks and a few Pied Wagtails. Then a Little Grebe started hunting by the hide, and the angle of the light was such that I could see it while it was hunting underwater.
Not the highest species count of a visit to NCW, but the second best and what a lovely morning.

View from East Hide
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe

Bird List
  1. Barnacle Goose 1 
  2. Black-headed Gull 1 
  3. Blue Tit 
  4. Canada Goose 
  5. Carrion Crow 
  6. Common Tern 1 
  7. Coot 
  8. Feral Pigeon 
  9. Gadwall 
  10. Goldfinch 
  11. Great Crested Grebe 
  12. Greylag Goose 
  13. House Sparrow 
  14. Jackdaw 
  15. Kestrel 1 
  16. Lapwing 
  17. Little Grebe 6 
  18. Magpie 
  19. Mallard 
  20. Moorhen 
  21. Mute Swan 
  22. Pied Wagtail (yarrellii) 
  23. Pink-footed Goose 8 
  24. Pochard 
  25. Robin 
  26. Rook 
  27. Sand Martin 
  28. Shoveler 
  29. Snipe 10
  30. Starling 
  31. Teal 
  32. Tufted Duck 
  33. Wigeon 
  34. Woodpigeon 
  35. Unidentified warbler/chiffchaff calling.
  36. Unidentified immature gull

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