Monday, 26 October 2009

Beardieless and Bitternless, but a good day.

When we arrived at Leighton Moss we spent some time at the feeding station close to the Reserve Centre and car park. There was a good variety of birds feeding, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Nuthatch, Great Tits, Coal Tits and Marsh Tits to start with.

Jack was particularly pleased with the Marsh Tits as he hadn't seen them since he'd really started to note the species he'd seen.

The sun went in and the feeders, being under the trees were very dark. Nevertheless this Bullfinch still looked really good when it came in to feed. It never stayed on the feeder for long, preferring to take the seed up in the tree to eat it, before returning for the next.

Along the causeway a "feeding" station for Bearded Tits had been set up. It isn't food that's there for them but grit. We missed seeing any on table although some came in before and after we'd been watching. Two did get very close, "pinging" loudly near by, and I saw one at the top of the reeds just a few yards away. Most of the birds have been coloured ringed this year, I believe they done about 120 juveniles, and someone notes which birds are coming to these grit tables.
While we waited in vain for the Beardies two Buzzards circled and called over the nearby wood. We walked on to the Public Hide, normally the best for seeing Bittern but they decided no to show today.

I was surprised to see this Red Deer for the Griesdale hide, bur evidently there's a herd of about 40 animals in the area, that often use the reserve for feeding.

At the end of the day we went to the bit of the reserve on the Morecambe Bay side of the railway. From the Allen Hide we watched a large flock of Starling circling in the sky. They didn't make the intricate patterns that have been a feature of several television programmes but they were still and impressive sight.

Most of the waders around were Redshanks, although I did see several Black-tailed Godwits, Curlews and Lapwings. Out in the Fields Little Egrets were prominent and as evening came on they started to leave to marsh and fly off to roost on the reserve. I watched several groups and had more or less given up on the two Great White Egrets that had been around when a group of four birds came towards me.

They'd gone over my head before I'd had the nouse to pick up my camera. Two Little Egrets and two Great White Egrets went over, luckily Pam, who was walking back from the Eric Morecambe hide saw them and pointed them out to Jack and Josh.

Unlike St Margaret's the sun sets over the sea here, but like much of the Kent coast the view is now dominated by wind turbines.

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