Sunday, September 02, 2007

Stanwick Lakes

Reports of a Wood Sandpiper (never seen one!) drew us over to Stanwick Lakes, which is a surprisingly large SSSI, part of the Nene River Valley and the network of birding hotspots in the county. There's a £2 levy to pay to exit car park in summer, £1 in winter, a large children's adventure playground and some well laid out walks around the large lake (formerly gravel pits) , or an annual £20 pass. It has the feel of a habitat that birds will expand into.

Heading towards Rushden & Diamonds Football ground, this Greater Spotted Woodpecker, flew to land on the post, for a few short seconds, and then took off for a tree much further back:


















At the end of the lakes area, by and old style bridge there's a large collection of teasels and berry bearing bushes, feeding probably the largest flock of Goldfinch we've ever seen or heard. Heading back we spotted this chap, which I presume is a juvenile Reed Bunting:

















The lakes are host to a large number of Mute Swans, Coots, Moorhens, Cormorants, Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls together with Teal, Wigeon, Greylag and Canada Geese, a large flock of Lapwings and a single Black-tailed Godwit. Above we spotted a Peregrine Falcon and a Hobby.

We stopped briefly in the main hide and I was lucky enough to spy this dragonfly hovering outside one of the openings, a pleasing photograph as I haven't managed a good dragonfly snap before, any identification much appreciated:















(click on the picture to see a much more detailed version)

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