Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Creepers in the Sunshine

A cold and frosty start gave way to a brilliant day, evidently a lot of others agreed as the reserve was as busy as I think I have ever seen it on a weekday. The lack of wind made it ideal for the bird ringers who caught seventy five birds this morning, including a good number of lesser redpoll and siskin. A few of the siskin being caught this winter are birds that were first caught at Blashford last winter that have returned, showing site fidelity between years. Potentially at least as interesting was that one of this morning's lesser redpoll had been ringed elsewhere, it will be interesting to find out where it has come from. Although finches are the main targets of the ringing effort, one of the highlights today was the catching of three treecreeper. These are magical little birds, from their sickle bill for prizing food from bark crevices to their stiff pointed tail feathers. They really are small too, weighing about 8 grams, which is more than three to equal the weight of a standard packet of crisps!
I saw a bittern at the Ivy North hide as I opened up and one was seen on and off all day, the great white egret also performed well for lots of visitors. Also seen at the Ivy North hide were Cetti's warbler and water rail, there have also been quiet a variety of duck feeding in the reeds there including several wigeon, shoveler, mallard and gadwall. A lesser spotted woodpecker was reported from near the same hide today, probably the one seen last Thursday on the Dockens Water path, let's hope it stays around.

At the end of the day I took a look from the Tern hide, I could see no sign of yesterday's Caspian gull, but there were about 830 large gulls in the roost, almost all lesser black-backed gull but including one adult yellow-legged gull. There were also 14 black-tailed godwit and a few more little grebe than I have seen for a while.

In very late news, I forgot to record the first butterfly sighting of the year from last week, a brimstone seen on Thursday morning.


  1. I popped In for the GWE at lunchtime, I thought there was an optics event in tern hide! I struggled to park. A fem Smew Was on rockford still, which made a few visitors happy as I showed it to them.

  2. Joe, In Focus were in the Tern hide, although the number of visitors was mainly down to it being a brilliant day.