The weather forecast wasn’t good for today, however there was a promised bright spell forecast during the morning. With the wind blowing strongly from the south I hoped that this would push the wildfowl closer to the hides, seeking the shelter of the calmer water.
This proved to be the case, with a good selection of species close in, giving some excellent opportunities for photography. I even had a dabble with the video function, the results of which can be viewed below.
There was plenty of activity with many species already paired up, or trying to seek out a mate on Island Lake. The constant ‘whistling’ from the Teal Anas crecca filled the air, with several hundred present. Most of the Shelduck Tadorna tadorna on site were on this section of the reserve and usually distant, however one pair were feeding in front of the nearest island, before finally settling there. A group of Shoveler Anas clypeata drifted close to the hide, although I managed to get them on video, a Peregrine Falco peregrinus flushed all the birds before I had chance to take some photos of the stunning males. A few pairs of Gadwall Anas strepera were also feeding close to the hide, although they are drab, their fine markings make them a handsome duck when viewed close up.
Over on the Main Lake a group of Pochard Aythya ferina were roosting together in the south-eastern corner, out of the strong wind, along with a few Tufted Duck. Redshank Tringa totanus numbers are also building, with over 20 using the ‘tern’ raft as a roosting spot, again a little jumpy, the photo below capturing them all just after that had landed again after being flushed.
A great hour and a half spent at this great reserve, the final icing on the cake being a pair of Red Kites Milvus milvus drifting north over the house as I arrived home.
More photos from today on Flickr
Redshank – Tringa totanus
Pochard – Aythya ferina
Teal – Anas crecca
Shoveler – Anas clypeata
Shelduck – Tadorna tadorna
Tufted Duck – Aythya fuligula
Gadwall – Anas strepera