Sunday, 21 March 2010

Rodley Nature Reserve

We spent a couple of hours at Rodley yesterday - in the pouring rain! We went prepared though and just about had the place to ourselves.

As we walked to the hide by the lagoon there was a very striking Bullfinch sat in a tree just by the road, we saw one on the way back out later too. In the hide we stayed a while and watched 2 Oystercatchers fly from one island to the next before flying off completely. There were plenty of noisy Coots on the water, a few Moorhens, a pair of sleeping Mute Swans, around 6 Tufted Ducks, Canada Geese and a new bird for me - a Little Grebe!

We stopped at the various hides as we walked down by the willow coppice spotting Black Headed and Herring Gulls, Jackdaws, Crows, more Tufted Ducks and another Little Grebe. In the field we saw a Pheasant.

The most time was spent in the hide overlooking the reed beds and grasslands, going from one side to the other. My little one spotted more of her fishing ducks (Tufted Ducks) and kept excitedly pointing them out. Then my husband spotted not one but two Water Rails on the grassland side, one was hidden in the reeds but another strutted about for a while.

We did get photos, not great ones though with the bad weather and bad camera but you can just about tell what it is!

As we watched we saw quite a few more Moorhens and Coots. In the distance 2 Herons appeared to be facing off, they spent the whole time we were there stood facing each other. Out at the grassland side we saw a pair of Greylag Geese and a pair of Shelduck too.

At the last hide looking out at the reeds we could just see some ducks across at the far side, they spent a lot of time with their bottoms in the air, I thought they looked like Wigeons but just couldn't get a good enough look to be sure, which is a shame as that would have been another life bird for me.

In the hide at the managers garden a little bit of patience paid of with some great views of male and female Reed Buntings, i've only ever seen one male before so was very pleased with this.

By now we were pretty cold and wet and the little one topped it off by falling in a muddy puddle! With one more life bird on the list I was pretty pleased we ignored the rain and went anyway.


  1. Nice report of what was clearly a very nice trip, Pam. Makes me quite nostalgic for England in the spring!

  2. Thanks Jeff, it's a lovely little place, quite hidden away and so many different birds too, which I think is pretty impressive when it's so close to the city centre! Pam

  3. Well done for ignoring the weather Pam and adding a new bird to your list, I love a Little Grebe, they seem to have so much energy the way they launch themselves underwater with such vigour. The Reed Buntings are almost always at the feeders aren't they. Hope the little one has dried out by now. Linda

  4. She did eventually, she doesn't bother so much about being wet thankfully! We watched the Grebes quite a while, trying to guess where they would pop up next, helps keep the little one interested too :-) The Reed buntings really are quite beautiful birds, I sometimes think 'brown' birds get overlooked because they are brown!