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Thursday, 10 March 2016

Water Rail, Curlew and Bullrush climbing Moorhens at RSPB Greylake!

As I had a day off work and the sun was out, I decided to pop down to RSPB Greylake for an hour this morning. It was bright but windy, especially in the worlds coldest hide.... luckily I went prepared with a few layers and a hat, but alas, I forgot gloves!
    The usual Winter ducks were out in force, Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler, spread throughout the reserve. When a helicopter went over pretty low, the birds all took to the air and you could really appreciate how many there were! There was also a male Pintail present, though there may have been more than one!
  A curlew flew over the hide, a Marsh Harrier loafed about at the back of the reserve and a Kestrel and Buzzard passed.The ducks were occasionally put up by what I suspect was a Peregrine, although I didn't see it fly through, I got a shot of the dead tree in the distance, a favoured perch for the Peregrine, and sure enough, there it was!
   There was a flock of 50+ Black Tailed Godwits, some of them starting to get their red Summer plumage!
   Highlight was a Water Rail to the left of the hide, looking for food in the grassy mud by the edge of the willows! Never had such a close look at one before, it soon ran off into cover though!
   One interesting bit of behaviour I observed was a Moorhen shimmying up a bullrush stem and taking a mouthful of the fluffy seeds at the top! They're obviously nest building, as I photographed them getting amorous earlier!
  There were a few Snipe about, one preening in a clearing in the reeds quite close to the hide, and right at the back of the reserve was a Great White Egret.
  All in all, a lovely hour at Greylake!

Here are some of my photo's from the visit;

^Above^ - Water Rail....you can always trust a bit of vegetation to get in the way of a shot!!

^Above^ - Flock of Black Tailed Godwits.

^Above^ - Curlew.

^Above^ - Moorhens in love!

^Above^ - Moorhen helping itself to fluffy bullrush seeds, surely for nesting?!

^Above^ - Coot.

^Above^ - A sky full of Ducks!

^Above^ - Grey Heron.

^Above^ - Spot the Great White Egret!

^Above^ - Little Egret.

^Above^ - Lapwings.

^Above^ - Marsh Harrier.

^Above^ - Male Mallard.

^Above^ - Shovelers.

^Above^ - Wigeon.

^Above^ - Teal.

^Above^ - Snipe.

^Above^ - Winter ducks....Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler. (Plus a Pintail, top pic at back!)

^Above^ - The dead tree with the Peregrine....can you see it?

^Above^ - Wren in front of the hide.

^Above^ - Singing Dunnock!

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