Friday, 29 March 2013

Hide and seek

Being half term, I take my 4 year old to North Cave for a bit of birdwatching. As we are parking I spot a brown rat by the drain opposite the cafe, my daugher can see it clearly, as I stop the car and point it to her. Not the fox or hedgehog she wanted to see, but another mammal and she's quite thrilled. She is also pleased to write it down on my notebook.
Given the weather, with flurries of snow every now and then, and a biting breeze, we go quickly from hide to hide and after East Hide and Turret Hide, we turn round and go down Dryham in the car for the other two hides. Lazy, really, but it is too cold for her.
The Black-Headed gulls are back in force getting ready for nesting (above), they are so loud in Island Lake that although I think I can hear a Skylark singing, I can't make it out clearly from the background noise.
I scan the area north of the reserve for raptors, and can make out a Buzzard being mobbed by crows in the distance.
 Four species of gulls are visible from Turret hide. Two immature Great Black Backed gulls dwarf a Herring gull nearby, and also a few Common gulls sprinkled amongst the BH gulls.
Great Black-backed gull immatures.
Displaying Black-headed gull
A Herring gull to the left looks tiny compared with the immature GBB gull
Drake Tufted Duck showing its impressive tuft
Bird List

  1.  Black-headed Gull        
  2.  Blackbird        
  3.  Blue Tit        
  4.  Buzzard        
  5.  Carrion Crow        
  6.  Chaffinch        
  7.  Common Gull        
  8.  Coot        
  9.  Dunnock        
  10.  Feral Pigeon        
  11.  Gadwall        
  12.  Great Black-backed Gull        
  13.  Great Crested Grebe        
  14.  Great Tit        
  15.  Greylag Goose        
  16.  Herring Gull        
  17.  House Sparrow        
  18.  Lapwing        
  19.  Little Grebe        
  20.  Magpie        
  21.  Mallard        
  22.  Moorhen        
  23.  Mute Swan        
  24.  Oystercatcher        
  25.  Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)        
  26.  Pochard        
  27.  Redshank        
  28.  Robin        
  29.  Rook        
  30.  Shelduck        
  31.  Shoveler        
  32.  Teal        
  33.  Tufted Duck        
  34.  Wigeon        
  35.  Woodpigeon     

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