Saturday, December 30, 2006

Ravensthorpe & Hollowell

A short window of daylight before a forecast storm so time to head local. With the annual permit from Pitsford, we are able to access both Raventhorpe & Hollowell, which are less than 10 miles from us. We headed first for Ravensthorpe and had parked up by the fishing lodge ready to head round. A local ran up and informed us that Anglian often close the gates and advised we park on the other side of the reservoir. We walked round spotting a Goldcrest, and a Bullfinch but it was pretty quiet. The reservoir only takes about 40 minutes to walk all the way around but it's seriously muddy so boots/wellies are a must. On the road back to the car park, you can see the other section of the reservoir that isn't public access (no paths, no fishing). There was substantially more wildfowl here including Pochard, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Cormorants, etc. Close to the road was this pair of Gadwalls, the male has the black beak and black bum:














One duck did catch my eye, as it was unfamiliar. Closer inspection showed this to be an adult female Red-Crested Pochard:














From Ravenshtorpe we drove to Hollowell. This reservoir had a better feel to it, probably as there were very few humans about and with the storm coming in had quite an eerie aspect.

We spotted a group of Long-Tailed Tits and a Goldcrest in the tree in the car park but the light was poor so nothing worth displaying. We walked along through the woodland and alongside the water to the far end and the closed car park. It didn't look like you can walk all the way round and with the rain starting to fall we headed back, at a sharp pace! En route we spotted these male Goldeneyes:













And managed to spook all these Coots from the land spit in the reservoir. Definately be going back to Hollowell again soon.

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