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Sunday, May 16th, 2010 | Author:

A lovely picture sent in by one of our members.
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 | Author:

The title is Sheila’s description of the odd looking duck masquerading as the father of a brood of ten ducklings on the mere. It’s probably a juvenile from a previous brood that’s sticking with its mother still, so it’s not the father (which is what I first assumed) though the father is almost definitely an odd looking duck itself, that has passed on its genes to this one.

It’s interesting to note that one of the ten ducklings is similarly coloured and stands out from the rest – it is all dark bar a white breast.

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Friday, April 23rd, 2010 | Author:

my first visit for a while, too long really.
I was plagued by foliage getting in the way of my “perfect” shots, also unwanted branches.
We could also blame the creatures themselves, they don’t want to be pestered do they?

here a wren tries to hide under a leaf -and nearly succeeds.

it’s time to say “aah” as the ever present blue tits pose for us.

among the leaves, again.

the fritillaries on show again, though with some frost damage.
I managed to hide those to the rear of this shot, they appear lighter.

a peacock butterfly suns itself on a log heap, after all the cold, it’s nice to see some beneficial sunshine.
Also seen, orange tip and speckled wood.

I saw a male mallard chase away a duckling earlier, the female seems to tolerate him still.
He’s a bit of a mongrel, a bit dull. He may grow up to be a she, we’ll see.
Anyway he has found the surplus seeds below the feeders, so he should survive OK.

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Thursday, February 11th, 2010 | Author:

Sightings board for January

Bullrushes standing out more in winter

Tree as sculpture
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Tuesday, February 02nd, 2010 | Author:

so I ventured out onto the reserve for the first time in a month or so.
I found it still buzzing with activity.


Siskin take niger seeds, let’s hope the goldfinches don’t object.
No luck catching them in a natural setting this time,
still, got them last year so can’t complain. . .see blog for 17.01.2009.

Siskin like sunflower hearts too, -it pays to be versatile.

a little run of little grebe pictures:

Not the clearest image, but how many times have you seen a little grebe
OUT of the water? Me? Never.

a blackbird, waiting for me to leave the feeder area.

Wherever you are on the site, someone is watching you.

The Mere’s secretive resident pheasant, also watching warily.

Snowdrops never cease to amaze do they?
The snow clears and there they are!

The last of this winter’s redwing flock, it felt as if I had scared them all away,
but they were probably on their way North again soon anyway . . .

Most of the red in redwing name stems from the red on the bird’s body.
This redwing shows more of it’s plumage, just for the camera.

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Thursday, January 14th, 2010 | Author:

The continuing cold weather is making the Reserve more interesting for bird sightings every day. On Wednesday we had:
4 pairs of Gadwalls
I Tufted Duck – female
3 Shovelers -2 males and 1 female
1 pair of Teal
Large flocks of Siskin
2 Red Kite flew over
Pair of Brambling

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Friday, January 08th, 2010 | Author:

What a lovely wintry scene!
The cold weather is bringing in some unusual sightings of dabbling and diving ducks.
Two ‘firsts’ for the Reserve:
Pochard (male)
Tufted duck (female)
And some occasional visitors:
Shoveler (female)
Two pairs of Gadwall
I managed to get some distant shots with my digital camera – but they were terrible.
Otherwise, an excellent day.
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Sunday, December 06th, 2009 | Author:

of birds from distant places

A flock of 20 or so redwing popped up today.
They come from Scandinavia to the U.K. every year, often with fieldfare present.
Redwing are timid, fieldfare can be more tolerant if you are careful in your approach.

A slightly improved, but still distant view of a redwing.

Another distant view -this blackcap should have gone to Europe somewhere, but has remained here, so far.
Several birders have, unusually for the time of year, seen blackcaps at garden feeders.
Usually, blackcap sightings are a sign of spring.

Still here, the two little grebes, catching fish with every dive.

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 | Author:

and we can see all the things we missed in summertime.
Those things that sit on branches at least.
I prefer winter to summer for clear, sunny days like these.

what you get when you point the lens skyward.
A blue tit, busy with a seed by the look of it.
In the scented sanctuary area by the river.

one of a busy group of long tailed tits, same place as the blue tits.
Blue tits & long tailed tits are often found together, on a good day, goldcrest may be present too.
Keep looking.

A fleeting view of the sparrowhawk, hunting hard all the time I was on site.
One of a pair seen at distance.

Returning (we assume) for another winter, the little grebes.

There is a third little grebe present. he may be one this year’s chicks.
He seems to stay on his own.

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Friday, October 09th, 2009 | Author:

a sunny but cold day, the light barely falling on half the reserve by midday.

this male mallard had me looking twice: he’s become entwined with a postman’s elastic band.
As far as I could see, he was still feeding ok and untroubled by his new headgear.
Hopefully, it will wear away safely in a few days.

white bryony is the creeper, I think. It’s durable and still going strong.
We are nearly in mid October and the plant is still flowering and attracting bees.

a dunnock attempts to sneak past me, serving to illustrate the furtive nature of these birds.

still present are young moorhen.
They have bred well this year and are still pestering the parent birds for food.

another young moorhen catches the warming sun on the bridge.

still the star of the show, a male kingfisher.
Anyone seen a female recently?

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