Friday, 28 February 2014

Group trip to Attenborough

Maybe it was me extolling the virtues of Attenborough Nature Reserve that persuaded the RSPB group to take a trip up there last Sunday.
 We had a pretty good day, although not encountering anything too unusual it was good to see species that you wouldn't get that close to nearer home.
 Unfortunately water levels were high so there was no sign of the recent Bitterns or any waders but several Tree Sparrows put on a show at the feeders behind the visitor centre.
 This an excellent winter site for Goosanders and probably around thirty were spread around the lakes.
 The area around the centre as usual gave some good opportunities for photos of the commoner species that are attracted to the grain that is on offer

drake Red-crested Pochard

female Red-crested Pochard

drake Gadwall

Tufted Duck

Egyptian Goose

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Emberton Wildfowl

I've been visiting Emberton Park quite a bit lately.
It's one of the best places locally for wintering Goosanders, with as many as 20 recently.

Today there was just one male, I think the mild weather has encouraged them to head back north earlier than usual
Emberton has the usual array of common water birds with Mallard, Tufted Ducks, Pochard, Gadwall, Teal and Wigeon being there regularly.
Just occasionally something slightly more unusual turns up, like this drake Red-crested Pochard did this morning .

A couple of weeks back this female Mandarin  turned up on the main lake.

Today she had been joined by a male

This pair of scrapping Mallard were yet another sign that spring is approaching.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Someone thinks it's spring

A wander around Willen today
It had actually stopped raining, the wind had dropped and the sun had even come out.
 There was a feel of spring in the air and some of the birds clearly thought so. Song Thrushes were in full song and a couple of Cettis Warblers were letting everyone know they were there.
A Chiffchaff was most likely an overwintering bird rather than an early migrant.

 A more telling sign was this pair of displaying Great-crested Grebes.


Saturday, 8 February 2014

Garden Invasion

There's not been a lot of activity on the garden feeders this winter, presumably due to the mild weather.
 I have noticed this gang of Long-tailed Tits paying regular visits in the last week though. I counted a 15 although there could have been more. They were so eager to feed  that could care less about me.
Shame the sun wasn't out.