I went for my monthly visit to North cave Wetlands. If was very cold and gloomy, but at least it wasn't snowing. There was a dusting of snow on the ground. I seemed to be the only person in the reserve - other than the Wild Bird Cafe lady - but there were birds aplenty, as usual, and the wardens had been busy before me topping the feeders.
The feeders were attracting large numbers of Long-Tailed tits. Blue and Great Tits, Goldfinches Greenfinches and Tree and House Sparrows also feasted on them.
Long Tailed Tit
The water was very high at Village lake and Island lake, and there are no islands to be seen, the birds congregating in the shallows. While in East Hide, a Green Woodpecker caught the corner of my eye as it flied away to settle on a tree by south hide, and then laughed in the distance.
I go on to Turret Hide, where, other than a few Shelducks and Teal there is little else, and then move onto the north side of the reserve.
Three of a group of five Reed Buntings
The water level is quite low on Reedbed Lake, and a flock of Redshank and Lapwing feed on the muddy shores.I spot a Bullfinch, a male, the first I see in the reserve, on alders by Carp Lake.
As I arrive at South Hide, I am ready for a hot cup of coffee. A lone Cormorant on the raft with a few lapwings. Coots, Gadwalls, Pochards and Tufted ducks feed. A large flock of Teal in the distance and a pair of Greylags. Suddenly, I hear the rattling alarm call of a Carrion Crow. I quickly scan the horizon and at first only see a Kestrel hovering in the distance, undisturbed by the crow, but then I see a larger raptor with dark brown, long wings a flash of white on the tail, flying fast close to the ground alongside the lake shore, flushing a large flock of Lapwings into the air. The raptor, possibly a Hen Harrier or Buzzard, settles on a bush in the north hedge, too far for me to ID.
There are Large Siskin flocks on the alders by Main Lake and the main entrance, but I cannot spot any Redpolls amongst them.
The lone Cormorant on Main Lake raft
The Hen Harrier settled on the top of the bush to the right of the centre of the photo.As I leave, the snow starts falling over the reserve.
UPDATE 15/1/13: I have left the raptor without identity, as it does not fit Hen Harrier or Buzzard.
- Black-headed Gull
- Blue Tit
- Carrion Crow
- Common Gull
- Great Tit
- Green Woodpecker
- Greylag Goose
- House Sparrow
- Long-tailed Tit
- Reed Bunting
- Song Thrush
- Tree Sparrow
- Tufted Duck