Monday, 20 October 2008
On leaving the visitor centre we were greeted by a Mallard with her 10 chicks. They could only have been a day or two old!
A Marsh Harrier was evident all day gliding above the reeds seeking out a morsel or two. A Peregrine Falcon was seen dashing amongst a flock of fieldfare. A Sparrowhawk flew across the front of a hide and landed close by on the banking with her prey. Four buzzards were seen throughout the day, once, all in one go perched on fence posts.
Our visit was early in the season for the returning waterfowl so numbers were lower than on previous trips to the reserve. Whooper Swans were in small family groups with larger groups of Pinkfoot and smaller numbers of Greylag Geese. There were Teal, Widgeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveller, Shelduck and Pintail. Also Heron, Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebe and Merganser and good numbers of Blackheaded and other Gulls. Waders such as Ruff, Redshank and Lapwing were about in small groups.
Although there was a plentiful supply of food at the feeding stations they were almost deserted. Therefore the woodland birds were harder to spot although Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Robin, Blackbird, Blue and Great Tits were seen by the patient ones amongst us. The Long-tailed Tits restlessly moving through the hedgerow delighted a few of us.
Then the rain came again and a retreat to the shop for retail therepy and the cafe for a cuppa and cake was the order of the day.
There was much snoozing on the bus on the way home. Altogether an enjoyable day.