Friday, 6 January 2012

Hyde Lane, Stourton....02/01/2012

A change of scenery today, Hyde Lane and a new area for me. The afternoon was a sunny one for the most part but quite cool. Not a lot of bird species were seen on the walk towards the canal (Staffs & Worcs) all but Blue and Great Tits which are lovely to see, however a perched Buzzard on a pole was a nice surprise, just as I readied my camera it took flight into nearby trees! On reaching the canal half a dozen Mallards were seen diving fully into the water like Little Grebes. I have never seen Mallards do this before, just upending! They were surfacing with what looked to be acorns, swallowing them and diving down again! There is an Oak tree above the area they were in so I presume that they were softened acorns they were eating or molluscs, they certainly looked like acorns.

On the return walk we took a walk along a public footpath that you reach through a Kissing gate that is next to a bridge over the River Stour, the path takes you through a good woodland area. A Buzzard was spotted perched in trees, possibly the same one that was seen earlier. Other species seen were Jay, Goldcrests, Nuthatch x 2 scouring the same tree trunk, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Bullfinch x 2 (male), Robin, Blackbird, Blue & Great Tit, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, with Siskin heard only! The path leads eventually to Enville Road by Stourton stables though as it was getting dark the whole of the path was not walked. An enjoyable walk with a colourful Sunset to end the afternoon.

With the Fairies lights now switched off and Santa's Little Helpers all tucked up in bed for their well earned rest and daylight hours gradually lengthening it brings pleasant thoughts to mind that Spring is just around the corner!

A heavily cropped image but an acorn (?) is just visible that the duck is about to devour.

Staffs & Worcs Canal

River Stour


  1. I've seen very young Mallards diving right under but their mother seemed rather perturbed by this behaviour! Never seen adults doing it. Just goes to show that you don't have to find exotic species to have an interesting day. Thanks for sharing.

  2. That's interesting behaviour from the Mallards...I've never seen them do that either

  3. Well that's a relief as I thought it was just me not having taken much notice of Mallards. They are like Coots, Moorhens and maybe Dunnocks sometimes just taken for granted as being there.

    Thank you very much for your comments John and Jason.

  4. A nice account of your watery walk Pam,I love the water mill pic,nicely framed!
    I have seen Mallards completely emersed before.....they do it on our canal (Trent & Mersey) but have never seen them eating acorns.....and that's certainly what is in the bill in your pic.......amazing what we have still to learn isn't it!

  5. Interesting that you have seen this Mallard behaviour Ruth. Yes, a lot to learn about Nature!

    Thank you for your kind comment.