Last day of the month and it’s blowing hard, 9.2 mtr tide with a wind behind makes spectacular views but very worrying for the residents of the park, peak tides can rise another metre. see shot.
Lots of ducks and waders in the shelter of the channel, this is the time to get some close up views. Wigeon and Pintail are resting together, Shelduck are a little further out and the Redshank are right up on the grass, the Curlew are the alarm bells and worn of anyone approaching, making it difficult to get a close up photo.
As Ian said in his blog the weather is not good for capturing good action shots, light is poor and the strong winds don’t help. With the snow melt the wet areas have grown and the pond levels are even higher, not much time before the first birds start to breed so we hope there is a dry spell on it’s way.
Going through the videos from last year, found two to lighten up the day, the first is of a Tufted duck stealing food right from under the beaks of other much larger birds. The second is of a male Cuckoo calling, the shot is not very good but it brings back memories of a glorious spring day, shortly after the male was joined by it’s mate. https://www.dropbox.com/s/8i3rg8508yw3e5a/132%20Tufted%20under%20water.mpg https://www.dropbox.com/s/k6p4felu18sx3n7/00000%20Cuckoo.MTS
Back to the wet and windy weather we have become accustomed to today,the last of the snow disappeared on Saturday.Came across a fresh dead sheep early Saturday morning,and surprised a beautifull fox close by.The following two mornings I approached the sheep down wind hoping two get a shot of the fox and although it was always there it was too quick for my photographic skills.(see pic for a cub I caught up with in the summer).The migrant thrushes and fieldfares are still numerous and by the number of banded snail shells around they seem to be doing OK.The weather forecast for the rest of the week is for more wind and rain,roll on springtime!!.
As Ian mentioned in his blog the mornings are very quiet, even the feeders are low on species but lots of Blackbirds, Robins and Chaffinch.
This morning while sat at the feeders we were unsure about a bird that flew over, thought it may have been a Redwing. This afternoon on one of the Willow trees just inside the airfield fence, near gate 3, sat a lone Redwing, same one? maybe.
The Mallard and Teal have been resting in amongst the trees in the ponds, see attached photo of three Mallard, maybe the water is slightly warmer and they won’t be frozen in during the night.
Early yesterday afternoon came across a young Roe deer and today about the same time put up a large Dog Fox, this cold spell must be making food hard to find.
First real snow of the year last night,nature has thrown everything at the reserve this winter.The snow was covered with badger and fox tracks all out during darkness trying to make a living.There were very few birds visible as dawn was breaking ,it will be interesting to see how the reserve wildlife has coped over the winter when spring arrives.My dogs enjoyed the snow however and chased each other everywhere,at least they were going back to a warm place and a good breakfast.
It was a really cold one this morning, even the cows had enough and went walk about, in the afternoon they were spotted on the path around the airfield, think they were making for home.
Again lots of Teal on the long pond and the feeders were very busy, especially Blackbirds and Robins, normally they don’t like each others company but as the shot shows, food was more important.
At last a beautiful dry crisp morning, just on entering the old tip spotted a Thrush in one of the Willow trees enjoying the early morning sun, but not quick enough to get a photo, it’s anvil was a few yards further along the path, this is an ideal place for snails, can’t understand why there are not more Thrushes.
The three Roe deer are still together, managed to catch them in the long grass.
Lots of Teal about this morning most congregating on the long pond, which did have a small amount of ice.
The snow on the mountains looked very picturesque, see the link below.
Well,that’s 2012 over and done with and the way the weather treated us all I think it’s best left behind.Lovely morning today in contrast,sunrise was stunning over the thick morning mist.As usual the ponds were quiet apart from the usual inhabitants-mallard ,tufted and the numerous teal that have been around all winter.A pair of swans have visited the long pond twice this week but were absent this morning.Further into the dunes the migrant thrushes and fieldfares are still plentiful and a pair of ravens were scavenging what is left of one of the dead sheep (there have been a few this winter).They don’t last more than a day or two once the badgers and foxes find them.A solitary Pansy has managed to survive up to now but I suspect any more frosty days will see it disappear until the spring.Hopefully this coming year will be better than last weather wise and this mornings’ sun and the lengthening days give hope for the coming year on the reserve.