Monday, 15 April 2013

More than birds in North Cave Wetlands

Today really feel like spring at the Wetlands. I decided to do the perimeter walk clockwise. There was a splash of colour with Colt's Foot joining Lesser Celandine flowering and several non-avian species for a change. Although windy, it was a warm wind that is bringing the migrants in. It was lovely to watch the little bunch of Yellow Wagtails feeding with Pied and White Wagtails in the new area of the reserve by Crosslands Hide. A couple of Pipits joined them, I'd go for Meadow pipits, but hard to tell. A Little Ringed Plover joined them. Some sand Sand Martins, the first of the year few overhead. I thought I saw three Swallows on the ridge by a farm in my way to the reserve, but I couldn't have a good look, so my first swallow of the year will have to wait.
 Despite the new birds for the year, for me the stars of the day were the toads. Several dozens, at least, appeared to be gathering in the ditch at the north side of the reserve. I think, judging by their small size, most of them must have been males. There was a single pair in amplexus, and I didn't see any spawn. I laid down trying to get better shots and got my hand full on some growing nettles. Ouch, it still hurts! but well worth some toad photos.
 There were many Avocets, and I witnessed a pair mating in the water, with only the female's head visible over the surface. Black-headed gulls were mating, and nest building.
Yellow Wagtail
A sluggish queen Buff-Tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris
The Mute Swans in Reed Lake sitting on the nest. The other one was resting just to the right of the photo.
Toads. Some of them were calling intermittently.
Pair of Common Toads in amplexus
Male Andrena sp. probably A. bicolor in Colt's Foot (thanks to Ian Beavis for ID).
A particularly spotty toad
Record shot of the handsome Black-Tailed Godwit in Reed Lake.
There was a large group of Shelducks by the rabbit warrens. I wonder if they are planning a take-over. Shelducks like to breed in old rabbit burrows.
Three jumping spiders were sunbathing on the fence by Turret Hide. Looking lovely and curious, as always.
Another Yellow Wagtail
A White Wagtail
Male Reed Bunting feeding at the bottom of a hedge
Avocets resting
Black-headed gulls. Hard to keep balance with the wind. 
Pair of Rooks

Bird List

  1. Avocet        
  2.  Black-headed Gull        
  3.  Black-tailed Godwit        
  4.  Buzzard        
  5.  Carrion Crow        
  6.  Chaffinch        
  7.  Coot       
  8.  Dunnock        
  9.  Feral Pigeon        
  10.  Gadwall        
  11.  Goldfinch        
  12.  Great Tit        
  13.  Greylag Goose        
  14.  House Sparrow        
  15.  Jackdaw        
  16.  Lapwing        
  17.  Little Grebe        
  18.  Little Ringed Plover        
  19.  Magpie        
  20.  Mallard        
  21.  Meadow/Rock Pipit?        
  22.  Moorhen        
  23.  Mute Swan       
  24.  Oystercatcher        
  25.  Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)        
  26.  Pochard        
  27.  Redshank        
  28.  Reed Bunting        
  29.  Robin        
  30.  Rook        
  31.  Sand Martin        
  32.  Shelduck        
  33.  Shoveler        
  34.  Skylark        
  35.  Starling        
  36.  Stock Dove        
  37.  Teal        
  38.  Tree Sparrow        
  39.  Tufted Duck        
  40.  Wigeon        
  41.  Woodpigeon        
  42.  Wren        
  43.  Yellow Wagtail 

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