Monday, 26 January 2015

Tophill south, and then north

I visited Tophill Low with Robert Jaques today. A chilly, breezy day with a sunny spells. We avoided the sleety cloud and once there we had a dry day. We started with the south part of the reserve, which I hadn't visited in quite some time. The day started well, with a mixed flock of Siskins and Goldfinches, and some Redwing on the poplars. There was a noisy chase of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and we heard them drumming a couple of times more.
 Ducks were plentiful today, we ticked all the common species: Wigeon, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Shoveler, Goldeneye looking very dapper, plus a surprise drake pintail flying over O res. To top the duck list we saw the female Scaup later on D res.
 We didn't add much at Watton, but there were birds a plenty, with two Little Egrets and a flock of Curlew, first sleeping and then preening and bathing, amongst greylags, teal and wigeon.
 We went round the south of the reserve quite quickly, so we had time to do the north as well. D woods had lots of Great and Blue tits, but the chill didn't help with waiting for the brown ones, so we headed on towards North Marsh.
On the raptor front, Kestrels were aplenty we saw more than five of them around the reserve, only topped by the fantastic view of six Buzzards flying and mewing over North Marsh (with nothing else to report from there unfortunately).
 Hempholme was entertaining today. Carrion crows mobbed a Kestrel while another one hovered unperturbed nearby. A Grey Heron captured and swallowed a vole unceremoniously, and a pair of Pheasants walked by the hide. Two Kingfishers also made a brief appearance.
Little Egret
Curlew and Greylags
Robin by Hempholme hide
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