Monday, 17 March 2014

Redpolls and Chiffchaffs at Noddle Hill Nature Reserve

A dull, cloudy, breezy day, I headed to Noddle Hill for an early spring walk. The sallows and willows are in full bloom, and, despite the cloud, there were a number of active Buff-tailed bumblebees about.
As soon as I start the woodland walk, I hear the song of a Chiffchaff. Soon, other replies and I manage some shots. A pair of Bullfinches feeds on buds, and Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch are singing. As I enter the open scrub northern side of the reserve, I hear some chirps, they come from a few Tree Sparrows, the first time I see them on the reserve. There are also many Linnets about.
 Near the pumping station, a couple of Carrion Crows mob a Buzzard (a first for the reserve). The wind makes it almost impossible to take shots, unfortunately.
 I peek into the drain hoping for a Kingfisher, but I spook a couple of Teal (also a first for the reserve), mallard and a Moorhen instead.
 I walk along the criss-crossing paths. The hoof prints of Roe Deer are marked on many of them. There are 20+ Greylags on the fishing lake, but little else. Just as I was going to leave, I see some birds on the alders by the pond. They are Lesser Redpolls. Some look wet, like they just had a bath. They appear to be feeding alder buds and, when they fly to a tree nearby I see the flock is about 15 strong. They come back to the alder and carry on feeding, doing acrobatics like tits and keeping quiet.
 Skylarks are singing around the reserve. On a ploughed field by the entrance, a large Starling flock feeds with Carrion Crows, Woodpigeons and a pair of Stock Dove.
Singing Chiffchaff
Male Bullfinch
Tree sparrow
Linnet
A view of the reserve
Lesser Redpoll
Lesser Redpoll
Male Lesser Redpoll looking wet.

Singing Skylark
Bird List
  1. Black-headed Gull
  2. Blackbird
  3. Blue Tit
  4. Bullfinch
  5. Buzzard
  6. Carrion Crow
  7. Chaffinch
  8. Chiffchaff
  9. Collared Dove
  10. Dunnock
  11. Feral Pigeon
  12. Goldfinch
  13. Great Tit
  14. Greenfinch
  15. Greylag Goose
  16. Lesser Redpoll
  17. Linnet
  18. Magpie
  19. Mallard
  20. Moorhen
  21. Pheasant
  22. Reed Bunting
  23. Robin
  24. Skylark
  25. Starling
  26. Stock Dove
  27. Teal
  28. Tree Sparrow
  29. Woodpigeon
  30. Wren

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