Monday, 4 March 2013

What a day in North Cave Wetlands!

Despite the cold breeze and overcast conditions, there was a number of people on the reserve today. The background noise today was whistling Lapwings and screeching sounds of Black Headed Gulls, with the added novelty of the laughing Little Grebes. Of the latter I saw two pairs, one at Village lake and another in Main Lake.
There were Curlews calling on the fields and singing Skylarks. It would be hard to decide on what is the highlight of the trip, the Stoat encounter and the Smew came close to the top, but there were many others. Like the pair of Shelducks close by Turret Hide (above), aren't they the most elegant ducks?
A Green Spotted Woodpecker landed on an Alder just in front of me. 
A large Lapwing flock took to the air in a few occasions.
Noisy, Black Headed gulls with their fresh, silky breeding plumage displaying... 
fighting and generally having the place to themselves
A Stoat running towards me on the path to Turret hide. I stopped much earlier than the Stoat, but it eventually stopped and froze for long enough for me to take its photo. It immediately then disappeared through one of the draining tubes at the side of the path. I love the white gloves!
Two Mute Swans fighting. There was lake wide commotion with chases, water running and flying (is there a name for the flying while running that swans do?), and fast swimming. The one on the right is busking, an agressive posture of swans. The scene was almost comical as there was a group of mobbing Black Headed gulls, that seemed to have taken sides, attacking the agressive swan.
A Teal pair by Turret Hide.
Brown Rat feeding under the bird feeders. I guess this is an unintended effect of having bird feeders in nature reserves. Rats are also not good news for ground nesting birds.
An approachable male Reed Bunting.
Redhead Smew, a lifer, I flushed her in Far Lake. And she settled on the far end, but little by little she settled in the middle of the lake.
A raft reunion of Oystercatchers.
Full breeding plumage Great Crested Grebe.
Little Grebe.
Feeding coot, the Main Lake water was so transparent and still that you could see them underwater.
Hovering Kestrel
I failed to find a map of the reserve on the web with all the lake's names, so here is one from the information panel at the entrance. It shows the initial stage of the reserve, which has now greatly expanded on the south and west. At least I can come back here if I forget the lake names.

This was one of the most memorable trips I have made to NCW.

Today's Bird List

  1. Black-headed gull        
  2.  Blackbird        
  3.  Blue Tit        
  4.  Carrion Crow        
  5.  Chaffinch        
  6.  Common Gull        
  7.  Coot        
  8.  Curlew        
  9.  Dunnock        
  10.  Feral Pigeon        
  11.  Gadwall        
  12.  Goldfinch        
  13.  Great Crested Grebe        
  14.  Great Tit        
  15.  Green Woodpecker        
  16.  Greenfinch        
  17.  Greylag Goose        
  18.  Herring Gull        
  19.  House Sparrow        
  20.  Kestrel        
  21.  Lapwing        
  22.  Little Grebe        
  23.  Long-tailed Tit        
  24.  Magpie        
  25.  Mallard        
  26.  Moorhen        
  27.  Mute Swan        
  28.  Oystercatcher        
  29.  Pheasant        
  30.  Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)        
  31.  Pochard        
  32.  Redshank        
  33.  Reed Bunting        
  34.  Robin        
  35.  Rook       
  36.  Shelduck        
  37.  Shoveler        
  38.  Skylark        
  39.  Smew        
  40.  Snipe        
  41.  Starling        
  42.  Teal        
  43.  Tree Sparrow        
  44.  Tufted Duck
  45. Wigeon 
  46. Woodpigeon 
  47. Wren
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