Friday, 20 February 2009

Sightings board

There is now a 'sightings' board in
the bird hide so interested parties
can see what wildlife has been
around in recent weeks. Any
comments will then be recorded
into a sightings book. Sorry it is
such a poor photo - the flash
kept going off as it is so dark
in the bird hide! There is also
a small 'sightings' blackboard
on the outside of the hide which
doubles up as an announcement
board for events and working
party details.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Spring has Sprung

A balmy day at the reserve today. I can almost feel the plant life spring back up. The kingfisher was extremely accommodating - perching in the sun close to me. This is a male as the whole bill is black. A female would have a red lower bill (though juvenile males have some red on the lower bill).

Sunday, 15 February 2009

hardy aren't they?

snowdrops that is.

here is a picture taken before the recent snowfall.

I looked at the spot where the snowdrops stood during the snow, and all there was to see, was . .
. . snow, indeed, they must have been squashed by the weight.

Once the snow had cleared, what do we see?
You guessed it, snowdrops, seemingly little troubled by the conditions.

caught the song thrush again, so nice to see, and hear of course.

recently blue tits have been showing signs of interest in the nestboxes, I backed away from them to avoid interrupting them at this critical point in their year.

showing well, a blackbird

a robin, always charming, picking up seeds under the feeders.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


Sunday, 8 February 2009

Colourful Characters

The Redwing that Keith saw are apparently sticking around at least a little bit. Here's one that was rummaging around in the leaf litter and the snow at the back of the reserve.

This is the first time I've seen signs of the more colourful summer plumage on the little grebe. Maybe it's just growing up, and it represents more of a transition from juvenile to adult, as it's a long way from summer out there!

Finally, if you ever wondered what a sparrow's tongue looks like, wonder no more.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

rail at last!

after many months of searching, several sightings and much frustation, we finally have pics of the elusive water rail.

Water rail have been seen for at least the last 3 winters,
by almost everybody but me, it seemed.
I only saw him for the first time late last year.

Today, there were many encounters, here are the results.
The best ones are those that got away -and I did miss some great chances. All due to the secretive nature of this bird.

If you ever see one, you may notice the rail barely out of cover for more than a few seconds, then it's gone again,
-perhaps best illustrated by the last picture in the series.

I also have a suspicion that two rail are present on site,
that make take quite a while to confirm.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

they're back

it's the reed buntings, who were first spotted last year, 23.03.08
-today I saw two, but photographed one.
They may have been here all year long,
-but if they were, I didn't see them . . .

there was a "fly over", of perhaps 10 redwing.
Elusive, noisy, shy and fast, they remain a difficult bird to "capture".
This one was 100 yards along the railway track from the Mere, after the fly over,
-so it's one for this site as far as I'm concerned.

always worth including, the ever obliging blue tit

the lovely, elusive, ever-on-the-move, long tailed tit

two shots of what currently, seems to be our resident song thrush,
-on this misty morning, pointed out to me by Jack.

a young mute swan

mallard may be common, but they always look full of character,
-this female looks a bit threatening.


mallard, included here purely because I quite like the pic;
-they had their eye on me and soon made off.

little grebe, snapped way after the pair had been spotted.
Looking eerily atmospheric in the mist.