Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

We had a hearty if somewhat late breakfast then headed up to Pitsford reservoir, to enjoy the peace and quiet and the combination of the freezing temperatures and the sunshine. The car park was closed, which was surprising, my guess is due to the lack if grit and preponderance of snow.

It remains very wintry, though I'd guess there's less than half as much snow as at home, only a few miles distant!



The freezing temperatures mean that the nature reserve side is almost entirely frozen:




With unfortunate consequences for some, including a swan providing sustenance for a flock of Carrion Crows:



On the only patch of open water were clustered a group of Northern Shovellers:




And a group of Common Goldeneye:



Also present were my favourite duck, Smew, pictured here two distinctive drakes and one female to the left (also know as Redheads):




They were quite concentrated together you can see seven Smew in this picture:



In the trees winter Thrushes were mostly heard (Fieldfares) and sometimes seen, like this Redwing:



Having fed the assembled ducks, geese and swans with a couple of kilos of grain, and barracked a couple of complete idiots walking their dogs on the ice over the deepest part of the reservoir, we then headed to southern car park (also conveniently locked) for a walk towards a larger concentration of birds, as you can see here:



A real mix of birds, I focused on a Common Gull in the middle of this group:



We really enjoyed our trip out, although it was somewhat abbreviated by the weather, the only downer was that the war on nature was in full swing. It seems even Christmas Day can't persuade people to stop killing stuff for their amusement, the sound of gunfire as continuous and oppressive as ever. Sigh.

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