Friday, 21 January 2011

Longer Days, more Grebes

A couple of days to cover, both have been cold, mostly bright and dominated by clearing rhododendron scrub. As the days are slowly getting longer I now find myself arriving just as the sun is coming up, the picture was taken from beside the Tern hide as I opened up this morning.
It was not as frosty today as yesterday, although the rather stronger breeze made it feel much colder. The white frost of yesterday did produce an interesting sight near the building. On the grass beside the shelter were two patches of green where the frost had either not formed or been melted. Each was about 60 cm long and roughly kidney shaped apart from small extensions here at top right and two on the left. I interpreted them as where two roe deer had been lying, the extensions being the folded legs, in the picture I think the front would have been to the right.
Yesterday I saw a bittern as I opened up the Ivy North hide, later two were seen by a good few visitors. Today I was not so lucky, but two were seen during the morning. Other sightings from yesterday included the great white egret on Rockford Lake and a woodcock near the Centre. The egret was not seen today, but the 2 smew were on Rockford.
The feeders are attracting lots of birds, the nyger feeders are especially busy, mainly with siskin, I grabbed a quick shot of this group outside the Centre after lunch.
Over the last few days one change in the birds on Ibsley Water and Ivy Lake has been the return of grebes, in the cold weather they all left. There are now at least 2 great crested grebe on Ivy Lake and three on Ibsley Water where there are also at least 2 little grebe. I assume they had moved to the coast when the lakes froze over, although they would have also had the option of moving to the River Avon.

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