The herd of 27 whooper swans had moved from Singleton lagoon to the fields by the time that I arrived in the hide. I could hear them calling and was wondering if they were getting ready to fly north when I heard a dog barking and saw a chap walking along the top of the bank. The public footpath runs along the bottom of the bank, but like his dog he could not read the notice! The swans soon left!
Water levels are not a problem at the moment and with more rain/snow forecast for the weekend we will probably end up with more water than we need.
A few shelduck and greylag geese were on the lagoon and a marsh harrier was flying back and forth over one patch of reedbed.
I went to Townend hide and saw a pair of marsh harriers flying over the reedbed.
No birds to be seen in front of first or Xerox hide. Marshland had a shelduck close to the hide
a little grebe, or as some people call them dabchick had caught a fish
The teal were sheltering at the edge of Marshland where the wind was not blowing directly at them.
I then walked down to Ousefleet hide. The six ponies were sheltering from the wind and rain by standing close to the trees at the edge of the grazing marsh.
I counted 48 shelduck, 24 shoveler on the lagoon. Too many wigeon and teal to count and one lapwing.
As at Marshland the teal were sheltering from the wind and rain by gathering at the edge of the water.
Their rest was disturbed when a marsh harrier flew over.
Time to head for home. My usual route to Goole was closed this morning so I decided to go home via North Duffield Carrs, What a lot of water there is on the reserve.
I had a look at the carrs from the Geoff Smith hide and saw that the bottom hide was not under water so decided to walk down there. What I had not noticed was the hole in the roof!
Not many birds close to the hide. A s at Blacktoft the duck were sheltering close to the waters edge and only moved when a marsh harrier flew over, There were about a dozen pintail in the distance along with teal, mallard, wigeon, a pair of tufted ducks and a male pochard.
I went into the Geoff Smith hide on my way back to the car park and was talking to a chap from Holme on Spalding Moor. He pointed out to me another large group of pintail on the reserve and he told me that he had had counts of over 100 birds. A pair of oystercatchers were flying round trying to find some where to land. In the field behind the hide a pair of curlew were calling another sign that spring is on its way. Perhaps after this weekend we can look forward to springlike weather.