Tuesday, 18 November 2008
From here we had views of Widgeon, Teal, Mallard, Shoveller and Tufted duck. Mute Swan and Whooper Swans. Canada and Greylag Geese. Moorhen and Heron. From here the group dispersed to visted all the hides around the reserve. Walking along the avenue approaches to the hides gave good opportunity to scan the hedgerows. Here were found Robin, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Blackbird, Greenfinch and Chaffinch. Great, Blue, Coal and the charming Long Tailed Tits. In the undergrowth were Wren and running up the tree trunks the Tree Creeper. We also had Redwing and the occassional Feildfare flying over.
Up in the tower hides the chance to see good numbers of Barnacle and Pinkfoot geese in the fields close by, but not in the great numbers expected. This was due to the failure of the local potato crop, therefore the geese and the Whooper Swans were spending more of their time feeding off the reserve. From here five Row Deer were also seen along with feeding crows and rooks. Perched on top of the gorse a Stonechat and there were great views of Redwing glowing red in the sunshine. Out on the coast the tide was coming in and there was plenty of movement of waders to be seen. Great moving clouds of Knot and Golden Plover dancing above the waves. Two Peregine Falcons were hunting amongst these and gave a great spectacle of acrobatics. Back near the vistor centre Follys Pond had Redshank, Oystercatcher and Curlew as well as the ducks, swans and geese.
Back to the vistor centre in the late afternoon for a welcome hot drink and sampling of home made cake and swapping of notes. The weather had been brilliant for us, sunny and bright and not too cold, also pretty dry underfoot.
But, that was not all! All thirty three of us safely back on the bus for our journey home. Whilst driving towards Gretna from the left had side of the bus we had fantastic views of the Starlings gathering ready for their roost. Great black moving shapes in the sky, swirling and diving and then almost disapearing into a thin line. Then to be joined by others to reform into an even greater cloud of movement.
A great end to another great day.