Monday, 2 March 2015

Wintry Blacktoft Sands

A very wintry day, snow storms, sleet, and rain driven horizontally by relentless wind at Blacktoft Sands today. As we had been aware of the weather forecast we chose this RSPB nature reserve well stocked with hides. A Greylag flock fed by the reserve entrance and a pair of Robins close to each other fed on the car park. The feeders were busy with Tree Sparrows, Pheasants, Magpies and Woodpigeon. We quickly moved into Xerox hide to avoid an upcoming storm. Dunlin fed amongst the slumbering Wigeon. A drake Pintail, Redshank, Shelduck. At some point a Grey Heron landed on one of the Islands.
 The pond by Marshland hide was almost devoid of birds. It was better at Ousefleet hide, where, the four Konik ponies were napping next to each other, their backs to the driving snow. There were plenty of Shoveler, some Greylag geese and Teal. The ponies woke up from their slumber and browsed a bit, while flocks of birds flew in the distance (top shot).
 A sunny spell! time to move quickly to the eastern side of the reserve. We saw a hare running on the bank from First hide. Shovelers fed in a frenzied whirlwind of a dance, some times including bottoms up. Two female Goldeneye and a Tufted duck move about in the lake. A pair of Little Grebes at the far end.
From Singleton hide we watched a flock of Wigeon feeding close up, with a few Snipe amongst them. We had the best views of a male and a female/immature Marsh Harrier, at some point with a rainbow in the distance.
Dunlin and Wigeon
A view from Ousefleet hide with snowstorm
Drake Pintail

A few shots of the Konik ponies below.

Hare footprints?
Rainbow and distant Marsh Harrier
Wigeon feeding
Drake wigeon
Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier (with no pylons in the background!)
Bird list
  1. Blackbird
  2. Blue Tit
  3. Carrion Crow
  4. Chaffinch
  5. Coot
  6. Curlew
  7. Dunlin
  8. Dunnock
  9. Gadwall
  10. Goldeneye
  11. Great Tit
  12. Grey Heron
  13. Greylag Goose
  14. House Sparrow
  15. Little Grebe
  16. Magpie
  17. Mallard
  18. Marsh Harrier
  19. Moorhen
  20. Mute Swan
  21. Pheasant
  22. Pintail
  23. Pochard
  24. Redshank
  25. Reed Bunting
  26. Robin
  27. Shelduck
  28. Shoveler
  29. Skylark
  30. Snipe
  31. Starling
  32. Stock Dove
  33. Teal
  34. Tree Sparrow
  35. Tufted Duck
  36. Wigeon
  37. Woodpigeon
  38. Wren 
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