Saturday, 24 November 2012

November Wetlands

A circular walk at North Cave Wetlands this morning. Bright blue skies and just a mild breeze - what a contrast to yesterday blustery day. I start to walk around the perimeter path counterclockwise. Despite getting there at 9:30 the place is deserted. In Dryham lane I spot a Fieldfare on the Hawthorns, and just before getting to East Hide I surprise a Stoat crossing the path, but I can't relocate it again.
  The background sound of the day are Teal peeps - I carry on hearing them even when I get home. I wonder if you can tell what month you are in by the background calls of dominant birds. There are large Teal flocks in Village lake and Island lake. Not many Lapwing or Greylag. The water levels are very high and there are not many islands left in Island Lake. From Turret hide, I get great views of preening Shelducks (above).
There are enormous flocks of Woodpigeons on the fields and hedgerows, with blackbirds and redwings.
A mixed flock of Siskins and Lesser Redpolls quietly feeding in alders suddenly takes to the air calling nervously. While I was watching them, I could only spotted a few, but the flock is over 50 strong, it is surprising how discreet they are while they feed. Later I see a male Sparrowhawk having a bath on the shore of the closest lake to the elders, maybe it is what caused the commotion. The Sparrowhawk flies high later, causing more alarm calls by small birds by South Hide.
 As I come out to Dryham Lane, a steam train-like sound makes me look up just in time to watch three Mute Swans flying over. Everybody should experience Mute Swans flying overhead, the sound of their wings is loud and quite unexpected. Awesome.
A shiny male Goldeneye is present in South hide, and thanks to two kind birders I am able to see a Jack Snipe, bobbing gently up and down on the shore. There are also many Common Snipe. Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Coots and a pair of Little Grebes feed about.
 I think this is the first time this year that I see 50 bird species in a day trip. North Cave Wetlands never disappoints.
A curious Starling by the Wild Bird Cafe

Bird list
  1. Black-headed Gull    
  2.  Blackbird    
  3.  Blue Tit    
  4.  Carrion Crow    
  5.  Chaffinch    
  6.  Common Gull
  7.  Coot    
  8.  Dunnock
  9.  Feral Pigeon    
  10.  Fieldfare    
  11.  Gadwall    
  12.  Goldeneye    
  13.  Goldfinch    
  14.  Great Black-backed Gull    
  15.  Great Crested Grebe    
  16.  Great Tit    
  17.  Greylag Goose    
  18.  House Sparrow    
  19.  Jack Snipe    
  20.  Jackdaw    
  21.  Kestrel    
  22.  Lapwing    
  23.  Lesser Redpoll    
  24.  Little Grebe    
  25.  Long-tailed Tit    
  26.  Magpie    
  27.  Mallard    
  28.  Moorhen    
  29.  Mute Swan    
  30.  Pheasant    
  31.  Pochard    
  32.  Redshank    
  33.  Redwing    
  34.  Reed Bunting    
  35.  Robin    
  36.  Rook    
  37.  Shelduck    
  38.  Shoveler    
  39.  Siskin    
  40.  Skylark    
  41.  Snipe    
  42.  Song Thrush    
  43.  Sparrowhawk    
  44.  Starling    
  45.  Teal    
  46.  Tree Sparrow    
  47.  Tufted Duck    
  48.  Wigeon    
  49.  Woodpigeon    
  50.  Wren    

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