Monday, 15 October 2012

October at North Cave Wetlands

As I arrived, Robins were singing and a Dunnock joined them quietly, allowing me close approximation. I walked the perimeter of the reserve, it was cloudy and cold, but the rain held on.
Other than the South Hide - next to the parking lot - the reserve was very quiet, people-wise. In contrast, the cacophony of several hundred Greylags and Canada geese from East Hide was incredible, it was hard to make out other birds in the village lake. I had a brief stop on Turret hide and pressed on. As I searched for Golden Plovers unsuccessfully amongst a group of Lapwings, I saw a Green Woodpecker feeding on the grass. So, cryptic I would have easily missed it if I hadn't been looking thorugh the binoculars. Further ahead, flocks of finches: Goldfinches, Siskins and some Lesser Redpolls fed acrobatically on the alder seeds in the north side of the reserve. This wintry scene was topped incongruously by four swallows feeding overhead, despite being so chilly I didn't see many insects at all.
 While I was looking at an information panel by Dryham lane, a Stoat came trotting along a grassy path with a mouse in its mouth. I froze, but the Stoat might had already noticed me, as it promptly dropped the (dead) mouse a couple of meters away from me, turned round, run away and hid in the bushes. I clumsily switched my camera on, focused it on the mouse and hoped that the Stoat would come back. It promptly did, running towards me, fetching the mouse and disappearing from view, but not before I had managed a single shot!
 I was grinning all the way to South Hide, as it is the first time I see a Stoat and the whole experience was exhilarating. I joined a few birders in the hide, which told me I had just missed a Kingfisher. We waited a while hoping it would turn up, though it didn't. We were enternained by the Little Grebes fighting and diving by the hide. The usual mix of Great Crested Grebes, Coots, Black Headed Gulls and Tufted Ducks joined in.
Overall, a lovely morning at North Cave Wetlands.
Dunnock
The view from South Hide
Believe it or not, there is a Green Woodpecker in this shot.
Wigeons and mallard
Singing robin

Bird list
  1. Black Swan
  2. Black-headed Gull 
  3. Blackbird 
  4. Blue Tit 
  5. Canada Goose 
  6. Carrion Crow 
  7. Chaffinch 
  8. Common Gull 
  9. Coot 
  10. Dunnock 
  11. Feral Pigeon 
  12. Gadwall 
  13. Goldfinch 
  14. Great Crested Grebe 
  15. Great Tit 
  16. Green Woodpecker 
  17. Greenfinch 
  18. Greylag Goose (a few hybrid geese CanadaxGreylag, plus a couple of white domestic greylags as well)
  19. House Sparrow 
  20. Jackdaw 
  21. Lapwing 
  22. Lesser Redpoll 
  23. Little Grebe 
  24. Long-tailed Tit 
  25. Magpie 
  26. Mallard 
  27. Moorhen 
  28. Mute Swan 
  29. Pheasant 
  30. Pied Wagtail 
  31. Pochard 
  32. Redshank 
  33. Reed Bunting 
  34. Robin 
  35. Rook 
  36. Shelduck 
  37. Shoveler 
  38. Siskin 
  39. Snipe 
  40. Song Thrush
  41. Starling 
  42. Swallow
  43. Teal 
  44. Tree Sparrow 
  45. Tufted Duck 
  46. Wigeon 
  47. Woodpigeon 
  48. Wren 
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