Thursday, 23 November 2017

Elevenses at Blacktoft, winter thrushes at Bank Island

Admin day today so decided to have an extended coffee break on the reserve.
The konick ponies were near Xerox hide and near them the green winged teal.
Marshland only had eight shelduck on offer
I had a walk to Ousefleet
 plenty ofberries still in the hedgerow
 just a family of long tailed tits in the woodland
and no birds to be seen from the hide.First hide had only a redshank to look at.  Townend had four redshank a green sandpiper and a little egret.

Singleton only had marsh harriers on view. There were three in the air at the same time and they came tantalisingly close,but just too far away for my 300lens.

I popped back into Xerox to show a group of birders the green winged teal.
 a couple of dunlin.
Time to go back to the office. I left the office mid afternoon and noticed that thw wind strength had increased. Lots of dark clouds and some rain. However close to Selby the weather improved so I went home via the LDV.
The River Derwent was nearly over the top of the bank.

A few mute swans were on the river and I could just see a few whooper swans as they lifted their heads above the vegetation. I could not be certain how many swans I could see, certainly not the seventy that have reported in the valley.
Bank Island was my last stop.

The sun was starting to set but it was light enough for me to see large numbers of fielfares, again just out of camera range for a good shot. I did not have my wellies so I was unable to get any closer to the birds.


Saturday, 18 November 2017

Fairburn Ings and St. Aidans.

School trip today and West Yorkshire was our destination. Fairburn Ings was our first stop. We parked at the visitor centre and walked around the boardwalk. At the first feeder station we saw Nuthatch, dunnock, blue, great and willow tit.

At the next feeder station  we saw greenfinch
At the kingfisher screen we could only see a grey heron. We walked along the riverbank trail to the first hide from where we added Goldeneye, pochard and tufted duck to our list A very tame robin joined us in the hide.

. After lunch we drove to St.Aidan's where we had a chat with an ex-pupil before setting of for a walk.

We added curlew, reed bunting ,goosander to our day list.
A mute swan flew over as we walked across the causeway.
Our total for the day was  40 birds.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Ruff at Ousefleet

My normal routine at Blacktoft is to man reception hide and I don't often get the chance to visit other hides. However today I was helping out with some admin duties in the office. After finishing the work I drove to the reserve and visited some hides Marshland was my first stop but there was not a bird to be seen, so I went to Xerox.
From here I could see that the warden team were busy at work in the reedbed.
 Shoveler, teal, redshank and spotted redshanks were sleeping on one of the islands.
The ponies were near the hide.

As I was leaving the hide two birders were coming in and told me that Ousefleet was worth a visit. I had not been down this end of the reserve for some while so I  had a stroll.
There is quite a bit of water there now so the higher tides last weekend had allowed the warden team to get some water onto the area.
 There were lots of waders on view including 15 snipe over 400 lapwing, 100 plus ruff and about 20 dunlin and a few redshanks.
The birds were quite distant but were gradually getting closer when they were disturbed by a marsh harrier.

They settled down fairly quickly and then a kestrel was hunting near the hide.

It then flew to a nearby tree and perched on the top using its wings and tail to keep balanced in the wind.

The waders gradually got closer.

then a chap tried to get into the hide with his tripod legs fully opened and made such a noise that they all flew away.
Time to go home and as I walked back down the path I could see a large skein of pink feet flying back towards their Humber roost.
On duty in reception on Saturday.