Thursday, 16 November 2017

Golden Acre & Adel Dam

This is a visit from a couple of weeks ago on a gorgeous sunny but cold day!

We were that early some of the Black-headed Gulls were still asleep by the lake.

Most of the squirrels we saw had black noses from digging in the dirt!

It was a good day for Bullfinch, three by the hide at Adel Dam, then another couple eating berries with the Blackbirds behind the Golden Acre cafe. Jays too were everywhere we walked.

Great Tit


Grey Heron




By Breary Marsh the fields were full of birds, a possible Linnet flock, Crows and pigeons galore

Sunday, 12 November 2017

St Aidan's

Saturday had us heading over to St Aidan's after lunch for a walk. In the visitors centre we were told a Dartford Warbler had been seen on the hillside today, I think only the 2nd record there. That would explain why there was an unusually large group of people with scopes up at the top of the hill!! Of course i've never seen one before.

So a change of route to what we had planned and we were off up the hill instead. It was a bit further than I thought, i've not walked up here before. When we got there the bird hadn't been seen for about 20 minutes or so but the people there were confident it was around in the bushes. I did pick out a couple of Stonechats but no Warbler and half an hour of hanging around proved enough for the 11 yr old.

Back off down the hill with a brief detour for a snack to eat as we walked (I mean it had been an hour and a half since lunch...the nicest scone with jam and cream!). A group had gathered along the path looking up the hill towards were the bird was last seen and we stopped there for about twenty minutes too but nothing.

When the sun was out it was lovely but the wind was biting and then the sun stayed in completely!

We saw Meadow Pipit and more Stonechats as we walked, in fact there were Stonechats everywhere.

We saw two Kingfishers both of which were sat on the No Fishing signs, it's almost like they know......

A Red Kite was diving into the grass at the side of the path.

A few of the birds we saw on the water


Great Crested Grebe



A big flock of Lapwings kept flying up in the distance, not sure what they were being spooked by.

A few flocks of Gulls flew overhead

Time was getting on and we had places to go but I couldn't help stopping at the bottom of the hill to see if the Warbler had been seen, it had! A nice chap directed me to the bushes it had flown into, 10 minutes with the binoculars glued to my face but no sign. We could only really wait another 5 minutes but then I caught sight of movement, the Warbler on a branch, it was brief but there! My husband missed it, it had flown into another bush pretty quickly. We really had to go but did hear it calling as we walked back to the car park.

A very nice end to our visit!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Potteric Carr

On Sunday we spent the day at Potteric Carr, we haven't been since the new year and it was sunny and cold again but this time minus the frost/ice.

After picking up a bacon sandwich (to keep my hands warm obviously) we headed out into the reserve spotting Pheasant, Jackdaw and Goldfinch by the feeder.

In the woods I was the only one who spotted a deer, it popped it's head up in the distance and then leapt over a log and out of sight. A few Squirrels were overhead, Wrens, Goldcrest, Robins in the trees and bushes around.

There were lots of Common Darters around the reserve, mostly sunning themselves. A Red Admiral flew past at one point, it always surprises me to see a butterfly at this time of year.

My husband spotted a few Blue and Great Tits as we walked from the Cottage Drain hide by the railway track then spotted a a couple of other birds - Redwings, the first ones i've seen this Autumn! A few kept flying in with several Blackbirds too, they soon disappeared into the trees though.

Stopping for a bit of lunch by the east scrape - picnics in November! I was watching the scrape from the picnic bench when I caught a flash of colour - a Kingfisher, it landed briefly on a reed and called a couple of times before flying off towards the West Scrape.

From the hides looking out over the West Scrape and Hunter Marsh we saw lots of very noisy Black Headed Gulls, Shelduck, Lapwing, Great Crested Grebes, Wigeon, Heron, Little Egret amongst others.

Walking to the Tofield hide I was photographing the reeds there and heard a burst of song, then again - a Cetti's Warbler! A first for me, very pleased!

We stopped to watch a Kestrel hunting over the field.

Calling into each hide to look down onto the marsh we saw plenty of birds - Wigeon, Lapwing, Shoveler, Gadwall, Cormorant, Pochard....

Heading back to we stopped at the hides by the willow marsh and saw busy feeders and a Teal mostly bottom up in the water!

A few photos from around the reserve.

We didn't stop to see the Starlings gathering this time, a much needed cuppa in the cafe and we were on our way home.