Saturday, 1 May 2021

Finally..........

....made it out for a walk outside of the local patch! I had a couple of days off to repair a bit of a DIY disaster, which went better than expected, thankfully. So we had a free day and got out early to Swillington Ings (St Aidan's) hoping with it being a week day it would be fairly quiet, which it was. 


The sound of the Gulls as we got out of the car was deafening! My husband spotted one of the Little Owls in the dragline compound - a good start to the day. 

Too distant for my camera but the Little Owl is on the fence


Mallards and a Rabbit under the feeders

I heard the first of many Sedge Warblers as soon as we got near the water along with Reed Buntings, Lapwings, a Common Tern flew over and Sand Martins around the sand bank. Everywhere we walked we could hear the Black- headed Gulls, they nest all over the reserve and eventually you get used to the noise. I saw my first  Swifts of the year (now I just need them back on the patch). 

Lapwing


Grey Heron




Reed Bunting


Walking around the main lake to the causeway, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Robins, Blackcap were singing. The view back towards the visitor centre was lovely, the weather was perfect for walking (and we got back in the car later just before it rained too).



Chiffchaff


The Swans were showing off around the edge of the causeway, we could see Shoveler, Shelduck and Gadwall.
Gadwall


Mute Swan


Walking between the reedbeds I saw movement in the reeds over the water -  a Bearded Tit, one of those birds that I always have trouble seeing and it just popped up in front of me! Then as we walked by Astley Lake, lots of pinging and there were at least 4 Bearded Tits in the reeds next to us - what a joy, we watched them for a few minutes, I gave up trying to get a good photo they were constantly on the move. They quite made my day!





Turning back towards the visitors centre a  Grasshopper Warbler was reeling, Meadow Pipits, Linnets and a Wheatear were along the path. A chap kindly pointed us in the direction of Whimbrels so we took a detour and found them easily, a life bird for me! Today was definitely going well!

Linnet 


Meadow Pipit


We stopped for a tea before we left and just sat a while soaking up the atmosphere. I didn't realise just how much i'd missed getting out, I love my little home patch but it was really good to be somewhere else for a while!



12 comments:

  1. Bearded Tit is a nemesis bird for me, Pam. I have been at locations in the UK, Croatia and Slovenia, where they are known to breed, but I was never able to find one. So my face has acquired a strange green pallor as I read your account - the tint of envy, no doubt. I hope this day out will be the resumption of many such outings as COVID is wrestled under control.

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    1. I think that must be part of their mission in life, I have done the same over the years and it's only fairly recently I saw my first one!

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  2. Such a lovely post. You saw so many different birds on your walk but how wonderful to see the bearded tits, I've never seen one, to see four must have been thrilling. It is good now we can go a little further afield as things open up a bit:)

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    1. Thanks Rosie, it was so good to be out and the Bearded Tits were a great bonus :)

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  3. So pleased you got out and it is a lovely post and walk. Great sightings. Jealous of the Bearded Tits - one of my "bogey" birds!!! and well done on the whimbrels. You must have added quite a few species to the year list :)

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    1. Thank you :) I did, my husband commented that i'd probably doubled my year list :D

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  4. Hi Pam, gotta love it when a favorite bird jumps right out in front of you...AND congrats on your Whimbrel sighting... very nice Mute and Greylag shots. Hope you have a good week and get more trips out in the field.

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    1. Thanks Sondra, it is great when that happens! We did manage to get out again, post to follow......

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  5. What a great day I would be still smiling if I had managed to see a Bearded tit, never seen one . You got some great photos of it too. Not sure if I would know the different calls of the Sadge Warbler and the Grasshopper Warbler, I would be thinking they were all Willow... Wimble too, you did have a good birding day.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thank you, I think I was, they are such a lovely bird to see! The Sedge is really noisy and the Grasshopper is a continuous reeling sound, they are at Yeadon dam occasionally too, very different to Willow Warblers, (though I struggle to tell the difference with Robin and Dunnock sometimes so i'm very glad for distinctive Warblers :o) x

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  6. Hello Pam
    Very nicely photographed, not so easy between the branches, I like it very much, a translator program on your blog would be very helpful for me
    Greetings Frank

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