A little known fact is that that we have a foghorn down at the end of the reserve here at Blacktoft, right out at the apex of the reserve where the Trent meets the Ouse and the mighty Humber flows, quite a distance from the hides but on calm foggy mornings the sound carries through the frosty air and across the golden reedbed for miles. So this morning I instantly new I was back home from holiday when I got out of the car and heard the familiar boom of old 'foghorn leghorn' it also reminded me to zip up my jacket to try and keep warm!
For December though the reserve is amazingly mild and this means we have a nice mix of species still around. Take the waders for example, black tailed godwit, curlew, avocet, ruff, redshank, snipe and lapwing all present this morning.
Below, a picture of a cold and frosty morning spectacular of curlew and alert wigeon taken this weekend.
The hen harriers continue to entertain especially at roost time with two birds coming in to roost alongside at least 10 marsh harriers. Lots of Kestrels about too, maybe a bit of a continental influx again as per a couple of years ago?
Quite a few winter thrushes adorning the hedges with fieldfares, redwings and a good number of continental blackbirds plus the odd song thrush. Stonechats are still seen daily and although a bit more secretive we do still have cettis warblers and bearded tits around the lagoons.
Water rails are also active on site at the moment constantly chunterring and squealing around the pathways.
Nice to see the pinkfeet are still feeding near the reserve while although other wildfowl are a little scarce there are still a nice number of wigeon, teal and shoveler about.
Mammals are good value too on cooler days with the roe deer rut in full flow and the odd slobbering buck chasing the in season does round the fields, also nice to see little smudger one of our recognisable weasels still in much the same place as I saw him three weeks ago. Hares too continue to be seen most days while in the fog the other day I was tempted into a few arty photo's of the koniks (see below).
And is this the real foghorn leghorn - its a clue to where I've been can anyone guess where and what the bird is? And yes it is a wild bird!