Thurs 29th

Posted by Ian

Cold windy day,big change from earlier in the week,must be 10degs colder.Looked like spring though with all the pansies blooming in the dune slacks.The mute swan pair that built their nest on an island on the long pond (17) have now started another nest at the top of the pond within touching distance of the bank—hope everyone plus dogs gives them some space.Found a swans egg (see pic) on the path early tues morning,how it came to be there has been the source of much debate.It is now on its way to an incubator—is it fertilised? Will it work? We can only hope.

Sightings

Hi, walking up to the long pond I saw a heron flying in and landing out of sight. I soon found it though as it was being mobbed by a dozen or more black headed gulls. Initially it looked up disdainfully at them but with their repeated attacks it lazily flew further down the pond and settled again. However the gulls persisted with mobbing and so the heron departed flying towards the channel and hopefully a bit of peace.
It was a beautiful sunny morning with the hills of Lakeland very clear and there was a dusting of snow on the top of Pillar.
The gorse is now beginning to bloom and the faint coconut aroma of its flowers was on the early morning air.

Posted by Bob

Sightings

Hi, at the long pond the swans were very busy nest building, the pen was doing most of the work with the cob
alongside, really attentive, if all goes well she may be sitting soon on eggs.
Further along a Little Egret and a Heron took flight as I passed by. The egret settled further down the pond.
In the first field two fieldfares were foraging away for food.
At the feeder–1m-1F bullfinch, 2 great tits, 2 blue tits, 2 robins, 1m-3F blackbirds, 3 M reed buntings
4 goldfinch, 3 greenfinch, 1 dunnock, 7 chaffinches and 1coal tit which I have not seen for a couple of weeks.
All around the reserve you could smell the musky scent of fox.

Posted by Bob

Sightings

Hi, all quiet again around north feeder, no stoat but he had had another chew at the old bone.
Was sat there watching the feeding birds when suddenly surprise, surprise a male siskin and three
female siskins fed on the nut feeder for about two minutes and departed. I have observed solitary males
and females visiting but not a group like this.

Posted by Bob

Sightings

Hi, haven’t posted for a while, been somewhat preoccupied. These are a few observations of recent days.
On 25th Feb watched the two swans flying north quite low over long pond. As they were nearing far end the
pen swan veered towards the sea with the cob following closely. Too closely however as it did not manage to gain enough height
and it collided with the top of the sand dune causing it to tumble away out of sight onto the pebbles on the high water line.
I hurried round and it was preening itself on the pebbles and when it saw me getting closer it waddled down on to the sand
and took flight returning to its mate on the pond. Hey guess it was just a few courting problems !!
Generally things are getting very busy on the nesting front as the birds are bonding and sorting out their nesting arrangements, this makes things quiet at the feeders
compared to a few weeks ago.
Lapwings and skylarks are plentiful and are busy sorting themselves out too.

Today 14th March as I was approaching the north feeder I noticed that the birds were sounding out their alarm calls so
I crept round and was surprised to see a stoat gnawing away at an old ham bone tied up 6ft high in a tree.
For 3-4 minutes I had the pleasure of watching this so secretive animal only to be disturbed by other walkers as they
noisily approached.

Then to cap it all I heard a woodpecker a rat tat tatting on one of the nest boxes near to new owl box as I left the area.

Posted by Bob

Further Ferrets

Posted by Ian

Saw our small mustelid again early (very early) this morning;bit surprised as I would have thought yesterdays rabbit offering would have kept him in bed.Took a picture on my camera phone and sent it to my cohorts.Went back again armed with a ‘proper’ camera this afternoon to try and post a pic on the blog but he must of seen me coming!.Iam trying to keep this brief now for those bored with ferret tales.