Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Saturday, 18 February 2012
With Saturdays weather forecast to be wet and cold and today being dull but mild I decided a Friday afternoon walk would be the best plan. A Goldcrest moving swiftly along the hedgerow was the first sighting as I walked along the top path and then a male and two female Bullfinches in the trees, I would imagine they are now eating the new buds that are starting to appear. Plenty of bird song and calls were heard from Great and Blue Tits, Robins and the odd Blackbird. The mild temperature today had brought out the gnats, I walked through small clouds of them at times making me feel a bit itchy.lol! On the pools were Mallard, Moorhen, Canada Geese and a lone Black-headed Gull circled the pools. Other highlights today were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pheasant and a flock of 30+ Winter Thrushes in flight, I reckon Redwings but couldn't be certain. So, nothing out of the ordinary seen but an enjoyable walk just the same!
Thursday, 16 February 2012
Brrr indeed!! It was -6.9c at 6.45am so I wasn't in any rush to set out early, I waited until 9.00am with the temperature outside now being a heady -2.6c. On arrival the pool was partly frozen but had defrosted on my walk back past the lake just under a couple of hours later! On the water were Mallard, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan family, BHG & LBBG x2, Heron and Coot. I noticed that the cold temperatures had not cooled the ardour of the Coots!! At one point a male Coot chased off a young pretender, they can certainly shift in water, they looked like two speedboats racing! I walked along the public footpath that leads towards Stakenbridge Lane, having past the first paddock I reached the wooded areas that are on each side of the path, I often linger in this area for quite a while as it is usually quite productive. The sun by now was shining brightly and I had to use the tree trunks as a shade from the sun or else I would not have seen anything at all. I was entertained by the sweet twittering of a flock of Siskins feeding high in the Alders, Blue & Great Tits were seemingly everywhere and I was thrilled with the sighting of two Treecreepers. I was even more thrilled to catch sight of a Kingfisher as it perched for a few seconds on an overhanging branch over the stream, the stream runs off from the Pool and is between two gardens. How lovely to have a stream through your garden and see such lovely birds as Kingfishers and Grey Wagtails, maybe one day I will win the Lottery and have such a garden.lol! Other highlight birds were Nuthatch, Blackbird, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Chaffinch, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Sparrowhawk. An enjoyable but very cold walk/amble today.
Sunday, 12 February 2012
2nd Feb. A detour to WWT Slimbridge for a short visit was made before heading onwards to the B&B in Glastonbury and a couple of days birding on the Somerset Levels. I was surprised how many cars were on the car park being a weekday and on such a cold day. A lot of people must have been around the 'Collection' area (or keeping warm in the restaurant) as it was fairly quiet along the pathways to and in the hides. On the way to the Rushy Hide the Wildfowl took flight but whatever set them up was not spotted, it was so cold (cold being an understatement) when looking through the hide windows that it literally made your eyes water! Highlight birds on and around the water were Pintail, Shelduck, Teal, Greylag and Canada Geese,Shoveler and the delightful Bewick's Swans, such a graceful looking Swan. Viewing from the Martin Smith hide there were good numbers of White-fronted Geese and Barnacle Geese, though distant good scope views were had of them as it was such a clear day. Lapwing, Wigeon and Teal were also viewed here in great numbers but I did not see any Golden Plovers which was a little disappointing as I had been looking forward to seeing at least a couple.lol! From the Holden Tower we could again see the Geese and on a grassy bank at the side of the hide were 100,s of Wigeon. A Peregrine flew to what we were told is it's favourite perching tree, a very nice sighting of it in flight! There was not enough time to walk to the remaining hides but there is always another day to enjoy this splendid reserve.