Sunday, 3 May 2009

Rodley Nature Reserve & Newmiller Dam

Finally got out and about today after one or two delays for various reasons. It meant we decided to visit Rodley, but then rather than explore a new place on limited time we went to Newmiller Dam instead, a place we have been to before.

The weather wasn't the best, quite windy but the sun held out in the morning at Rodley. It's changed a lot since I first visited not long after it opened maybe 8 years ago. There are many hides for viewing lagoon and marshes. Straight away we spotted Canada Geese flying overhead, on the Lagoon were more along with Lapwings, a Cormorant and several Jackdaws around the water. We saw several Coots, just one Moorhen, a few flying Mallards some sleeping Mute Swans and my favourites - Grey Herons. Unfortunately my camera has no chance of getting a shot of these gorgeous birds unless they had been right outside a hide. Crows and Jackdaws were everywhere and not too bothered by the people either.

I did see a new bird for me - a Reed Bunting, took a bit of viewing but it finally stopped long enough to see what it was. One of the pair of Geese had a little Gosling that was almost hidden by the grass so we didn't get a very good look. The ponds were teeming with Tadpoles and there were a few water snails in there too. We saw a few butterflies about too including a Speckled Wood, which I have never seen before.

After a quick picnic lunch we were off again to Newmiller Dam. Here we got rained on a few times but came prepared so it was fine. More Canada Geese and Swans here with the Mallards who had babies. One duck had 12 - goodness knows how she kept track of all them! Here I saw my first Great Crested Grebes of the year and a Tufted Duck too. The Coots were nesting, their nests are quite clever feats - one even had wheels caught up in it? A Heron flew in as we neared the end of our walk and there was a flock of Black Headed Gulls on the water. As we walked back to the car we passed our last Coot nest complete with two babies - amazing little things with very red heads - who knew they looked like that - I don't ever remember seeing one before.

Last up where a couple of Long Tailed Tits by the car - beautiful little birds and a nice end to the day.

Lastly pics of the Ducklings and Coots

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