|Male Bullfinch (c) Tom Nicholson-Lailey|
|Dawn (c) Tom Nicholson Lailey|
A bright and sunny weekend for the most part but frosty early on. It is currently a real pleasure to make your way through the carpark field and along the bridle way preceded and at times accompanied by Bullfinches. They are particularly confiding as they munch their way through the blackthorn buds. They really stand out, glowing cerise against the bare branches in the low sunshine. The females are more subtly coloured but they too look wonderful in the sun.
|Female Bullfinch (c) Andy Last|
It was a very “birdy” weekend with some additions to the year-list and some good views of some of our scarcer residents.
When the first volley of shots rang out from the rifle rangea vast number of duck, principally Wigeon but also Teal flushed up from Greenaways. We estimated that there were well over two thousand wildfowl in the air at the same time, it was very spectacular. After milling around for a while most of the Teal settled on the reedbed and the Wigeon on Big Otmoor. There were at least twenty Pintail out in the same area and good numbers of Shoveller.
Most of the Golden Plovers are feeding out on the fields to the west of the reserve. From time to time they would flush and fly round rapidly in response to threats both real and imagined. Once again Peregrines can be seen sitting out on the trees to the left of the trail to the second screen. The Lapwings that flew up from Greenaways morning were accompanied by at least seven or eight Dunlin.
|Pintail pair (c) JR|
|Finch flock (c) Tom Nicholson-Lailey|
The finch flock by the hide is attracting a lot of attention from visitors. It offers the opportunity to see the diverse range of Reed Bunting plumages as they moult out of winter into mature summer dress. There is still the chance that the flock will attract some other species to join in the seed bonanza.
The Starling roost continues but has changed. The birds seem to be assembling out on Ashgrave and then flying round with some of them roosting in the hedges beside Ashgrave and the Closes and others returning to the reedbed as it gets dark. It was certainly spectacularnight although the number of birds participating has reduced. It is currently best viewed from the bridle way or the path to July’s Meadow.
|Moorhen on ice (c) JR|
|Greylags (c) Bark|