Monday, 27 January 2014

Tophill Low ducktastic

As it is becoming routine, much to my pleasure, the forecast poor weather with heavy rain failed to materialise, and there was just a very brief shower during my visit to the north side of Tophill Low this morning.
A large flock of Chaffinches were feeding around the car park with Collared Doves, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker drummed.
The D reservoir was teeming with ducks: Wigeon, Tufted ducks, Pochard, Goldeneye, Gadwall, a sprinkle of Teal, two Shelduck and a pair of Mallard that looked out of place.
There was a strange and fascinating spectacle going on by the dozen feeding Mute swans, clouds of ducks (mainly Wigeon and Gadwall as far as I could see) and coot surrounded each pair of swans like flies. The ducks and coot were very busy feeding, so I presume the swans were disturbing or releasing something (seeds? invertebrates?) which the ducks seem to enjoy.
 Here is a short clip:


 In D woods the feeders were busy too: Goldfinches, a Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh tit, and Blackbirds and Dunnock underneath.
 I spend half an hour in North Marsh hoping for an otter encounter. The highlight is a Kingfisher flying away as I open the window, but other than a pair of Moorhens and a Wren on the reeds, there is little else.
No sign of Barn Owls on the scrub either, but as I walk towards the hide on Helmpholme meadows, two Roe Deer cross the path in front of me, just 10 m away. In the flooded meadows, a pair of Mute Swans resting contentedly, a pair of Mallard and Teal. A Kestrel hovers in the distance, and a large flock of Teal fly overhead.
Mute Swan and duck feast
Hovering Kestrel
A more relaxed Mute Swan at Helmpholme Meadow stretching its leg.
Goldfinches on the feeders in D wood
Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch

Bird list
  1. Black-headed Gull    
  2. Blackbird    
  3. Blue Tit    
  4. Carrion Crow    
  5. Chaffinch 50 +  
  6. Coal Tit 2   
  7. Collared Dove 9   
  8. Common Gull    
  9. Coot    
  10. Dunnock    
  11. Gadwall    
  12. Goldcrest    
  13. Goldeneye
  14. Goldfinch    
  15. Great Black-backed Gull    
  16. Great Crested Grebe 2   
  17. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  18. Great Tit    
  19. Greenfinch    
  20. Greylag Goose    
  21. Jackdaw    
  22. Kestrel 1   
  23. Kingfisher 1   
  24. Lapwing    
  25. Mallard    
  26. Marsh Tit    
  27. Moorhen    
  28. Mute Swan 14   
  29. Pheasant    
  30. Pochard    
  31. Robin    
  32. Rook    
  33. Shelduck 2   
  34. Teal    
  35. Tufted Duck    
  36. Wigeon    
  37. Woodpigeon    
  38. Wren
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