Saturday, September 05, 2009

Stanwick Lakes

Well a second weekend of shooting (all day) on the farm behind the house flushed us out, unfortunately the first place we went to this morning, Summer Leys Nature Reserve was also 'enjoying' accompanying shooting from both duck shooters on the river and rabbit shooters using dogs on neighbouring fields. We moved on from there and finally found a spot where nothing was being killed by humans, Stanwick Lakes. Stanwick has been developed in the last couple of years to be both human and wildlife friendly and has a brand new visitor centre to boot. There were plenty of birds buzzing around including loads of House Martins and Sand Martins, loads more geese and ducks of various species, Common Terns, Green and Great-spotted Woodpeckers, Lapwings, singing Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warblers (a surprisingly high count of these). On the sympathetically structured lake in front of the visitor centre a flock of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were settled on the shallow surface, just below the waterline:

They'd obviously already had a busy morning, or a noisy night, judging by the yawn:

Another bird that is surprisingly common is the Goldfinch. The flocks are of a good size (30-40 birds) and evenly dispersed around the area. Here a couple of juvenile birds are perched:

One of the few adults in this group was as interested in me as I in it:

Before heading on to Hollowell (much quieter this time just two Ringed Plover and a Greenshank) we stopped in a big hide, unfortunately vandalised such that all the shutters have now been removed, and settled down to watch a Great-crested Grebe being hassled and nagged by a youngster:

Before having a good old preen (and resolutely ignoring the juvenile):

Just as I packed the camera away a Blue Tit perched no more than four feet in front of me to feed on a bull rush. Oh well! Least we got to enjoy some peace and quiet for the morning.

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