Monday, 8 December 2014

Frosty wetlands with three geese

I had a sunny, if frosty walk around North Cave Wetlands this morning. The reserve was busier than usual, probably due to the presence of a trio of Tundra Bean Geese. I hadn't visited since late September, and the first thing I noticed is the presence of a new, almost complete, viewing terrace with a great view of Village lake, with the sun behind in the morning. New composting toilets were also in place. I walked anti-clockwise. Under the alders, a lone Goldfinch, a Song Thrush and a pair of Chaffinches fed on the path.
 In Village lake, many Wigeon, Teal and Lapwing, which shone in the low sun (above).
 As I approached the area with the Tree Sparrow nests, I spotted a Treecreeper feeding on a large willow. It was quite tricky to photograph with many branches in the way, but I managed a poor record shot. As I reached north path, three geese flew over the fields. They turned out to be the Tundra Bean geese, which landed ahead. A kind birdwatcher let me check them out with his telescope. They look very dapper with their dark head and orange markings. Two sat down while the third watched warily.
 Walking in the west path, the cold wind became very noticeable. A group of Goldfinches fed noisily on the alders, and I heard an unusual 'tee-oo!' whistle reminiscent of a bullfinch, although cheerier (later identified as a Siskin, which I didn't see). I looked closer and found three Lesser Redpolls feeding. I would have stayed longer watching their antics, but the wind spurred me onwards.
 Crosslands hide was a welcome respite from the cold. The hide traps the sun and it was balmy compared to outdoors. The water levels were very high, and a few coots, pochard and gadwall were feeding. A group of mixed gulls sat on a shallow area resting. A buzzard soared higher an higher, avoiding some crows. A large flock of Fieldfare flew over.
 I reached village lake, where I saw my first little Egret of the reserve. There was a strange absence  of geese, the only ones the Bean Geese I had seen before.
 There were many Redwing and blackbirds at Dryham lane feeding on the hawthorn berries and a few fieldfare passed over too.
 Despite the absence of geese, I managed to list 52 species.
Lesser Redpoll
the entrance to the new viewing terrace
the view from the terrace overlooking, village lake 
Grey Heron
A poor Treecreeper record shot
The distant Tundra Bean Geese on the field

This robin tried several times - unsuccessfully - to detach a hawthorn berry from its stalk.
Drake Gadwall
Little Egret
Kestrel
Song thrush
Bird list
  1. Bean Goose (Tundra) 3   
  2. Black-headed Gull  
  3. Blackbird    
  4. Blue Tit    
  5. Bullfinch 1   
  6. Buzzard 2   
  7. Carrion Crow    
  8. Chaffinch    
  9. Common Gull    
  10. Coot    
  11. Cormorant 3 +  
  12. Dunnock    
  13. Feral Pigeon    
  14. Fieldfare 50 +  
  15. Gadwall    
  16. Goldcrest 1   
  17. Goldfinch    
  18. Great Tit    
  19. Grey Heron 1   
  20. Herring Gull    
  21. House Sparrow    
  22. Jackdaw    
  23. Kestrel 1   
  24. Lapwing 100 +  
  25. Lesser Redpoll 3   
  26. Little Egret 1   
  27. Little Grebe 1   
  28. Long-tailed Tit    
  29. Magpie    
  30. Mallard   D - courtship and Display
  31. Moorhen    
  32. Mute Swan 1   
  33. Pheasant    
  34. Pied Wagtail (yarrellii) 1   
  35. Pochard    
  36. Redshank 3 +  
  37. Redwing    
  38. Robin    
  39. Rook    
  40. Shelduck 5   
  41. Shoveler    
  42. Siskin 1   
  43. Song Thrush 1   
  44. Starling    
  45. Teal    
  46. Tree Sparrow    
  47. Treecreeper    
  48. Tufted Duck    
  49. Water Rail    
  50. Wigeon    
  51. Woodpigeon    
  52. Wren 
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