Monday, 14 January 2013

Snowy Wetlands

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.

Bird list
  1. Black-headed Gull 
  2. Blackbird 
  3. Blue Tit 
  4. Bullfinch 
  5. Carrion Crow 
  6. Chaffinch 
  7. Common Gull 
  8. Coot 
  9. Cormorant 
  10. Dunnock 
  11. Gadwall 
  12. Goldfinch 
  13. Great Tit 
  14. Green Woodpecker 
  15. Greenfinch 
  16. Greylag Goose 
  17. House Sparrow 
  18. Jackdaw 
  19. Kestrel 
  20. Lapwing 
  21. Long-tailed Tit 
  22. Magpie 
  23. Mallard 
  24. Moorhen 
  25. Pochard 
  26. Redshank 
  27. Reed Bunting 
  28. Robin 
  29. Rook 
  30. Shelduck 
  31. Shoveler 
  32. Siskin 
  33. Song Thrush 
  34. Teal
  35. Tree Sparrow 
  36. Tufted Duck 
  37. Wigeon 
  38. Woodpigeon 
  39. Wren
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