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
A few shots of the Konik ponies below.
Rainbow and distant Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier (with no pylons in the background!)Bird list
- Blue Tit
- Carrion Crow
- Great Tit
- Grey Heron
- Greylag Goose
- House Sparrow
- Little Grebe
- Marsh Harrier
- Mute Swan
- Reed Bunting
- Stock Dove
- Tree Sparrow
- Tufted Duck