Monday, 28 April 2014

Warbler jazz jam and ratty at Noddle Hill

The reserve was quite empty on arrival, just one car in the car park, probably a fisherman's, and I didn't see anybody until the very end when I walked around the lake. I went anticlockwise using mainly the perimeter path, and a bit of crisscrossing. On the woodland area both Blackcap and Chiffchaff were singing, and then I heard a faintly familiar song on the woodland edge. Clear from branches, almost atop a hawthorn, a Lesser Whitethroat sung, it threw me as they usually hide when singing. On the scrub there was a band of Whitethroats and a sprinkle of Sedge Warblers, all singing to the top of their voices and performing aerial acrobatics while singing. A Dunnock also sung replying to Whitethroats and a male Reed Bunting joined in. Ahead in the path I noticed a strange reeling, cicada-style noise emanating from a large clump of brambles, it was just audible and as I got as close as I could I realised it was a Grasshopper Warbler. Unfortunately I couldn't get very close as the brambles were quite inaccessible. I returned before leaving the reserve and it was still singing in the same spot.
 A Skylark was singing too and later a Willow Warbler.
Suddenly a flock of starlings took off from the fields opposite the entrance of the reserve, and the crows too. Then I heard the rattling call of crows and I saw two mobbing what it appeared to be a kestrel flying straight through, however, its tail and wings were very pointy and the forewing appeared curved, a cuckoo?! I heard no calls though and the crows let it go and it disappeared into the distance.
 I finished of with a walk around the lake. There were several greylag families and a few mallards. As I passed by a cleared out area in the shore, a dark, round thing plopped into the water just by me. I stayed still, and a few seconds later a water vole emerged taking little notice of me. It cut leaves of the marginal vegetation and took them away, presumably to eat. As I was taking the water vole photos, I heard a Reed Warbler singing, my first of the year, and later, I even managed to capture a shot. A total of 33 birds species (not counting the possible cuckoo).
Lesser Whitethroat, singing exposed
Sedge Warbler
Reed Bunting
And another whitethroat
Greylag family
Water vole, taking away some leaf fragments.
Reed Warbler

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