Friday, 30 June 2017

Spoilt for choice at Blacktoft

My duty day in reception at Blacktoft today. I arrived at 0745 to find Mike looking at the moths that were caught in the trap overnight. He told me their names but I have now forgotten them as it is 2130!

 A chap turned up in pick up truck. He had found a young buzzard on the floor on his land.
Time to check what could be seen from the hides.
 Lots of butterflies along the paths

 A cormorant having a bath, lots of noise and action.
 Roe deer and one of her three young

 Four spoonbills

Sedge warblers, reed warblers, cetti's warbler, chiff chaff and whitethroat in the vegetation between the hides.  Bearded tits at Marshland and Townend. 3 spotted redshanks, which moved from lagoon to lagoon. 44 species in all. Lots of satisfied visitors who all managed to see the birds that they had come to the reserve in the hope of seeing.
National Meadows Day at the reserve tomorrow.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Osprey at Leighton Moss

I went to a meeting at the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss today. Thankfully the weather was not as bad as yesterday. After the meeting I spent a couple of hours birding before driving home. The scenery on the journey is stunning in places.

However back to the birding. From the public hide I was able to see a female marsh harrier perched in a tree, whilst lots of swifts and sand martins swooped low over the water. I tried my luck at trying to get a picture.

A sedge warbler had a nest in front of the hide and kept returning with food. For a second it landed on this post before flying to its nest.

I then walked to the lower hide and just as I sat down an osprey appeared.

Not brilliant photos as I did not have time to change the settings on my camera and I had to crouch to look out of the window but over the bush in front of the hide!
The osprey drifted out of sight but some warblers kept flying in and out of the bush I was trying to look over.

A cormorant was perched on a post in the lagoon and after looking at the photo I realised that I captured a couple of sand martins!
 On the way back to the car I saw this deer in a field.
A few of the plants I saw along the footpath.

I had a nice toasted teacake in the café and from one of the windows you can see a feeder. I saw bullfinch, coal tit, chaffinch and blue tit.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Spoonbill at Blacktoft

My only "free" day today and what horrible weather. Do I stay in and vacuum or go out birding in the rain! Birding in the rain won, surprise surprise.
Mine was the only car in the car park at Blacktoft which was not a surprise due to the constant rain. After a short chat with Keith, Chris and Stuart in reception I made my way to Marshland hide, where I had been told I might see a spoonbill and spotted redshanks.
As I entered the hide I could see the spoonbill feeding on the right hand side of the lagoon. The vegetation is quite high so I was unable to get a clear view of the bird.

The bird eventually walked over to a small island where a little egret joined it.
After the egret left the spoonbill started to preen.

It then started to feed
I am not sure what it had caught.  A grey heron flew in
It landed near the spoonbill and little egret.
The spoonbill did not like this arrangement so flew to other side of the lagoon, and after a few minutes flew off.
Two mallard ducklings were swimming about keeping close to mum.
A pair of little grebes had two young and they were fishing in front of the hide. The vegetation again stopped me getting a clear view of the birds.

Three avocets flew in, but no sign of any young.
A common sandpiper joined a pied wagtail on the island in front of the hide.
The wind was now coming from a different direction and was blowing rain into the hide so I left and visited the other hides. The wind was blowing straight at the windows of the other five hides so I did not stay long in any of them.
Cormorants and a black backed gull were in front of Townend hide.

It was now half past one and if anything the rainfall had increased and it was not getting any brighter so I decided to head for home.
Leighton Moss tomorrow for a meeting and then back at Blacktoft on Friday for a spell of  reception duty.