Sunday, 30 June 2013

RSPB Blacktoft sands

When we arrived at Blacktoft, we got out of the car and went to the visitor centre to ask if there was anything hanging around the area, the man said there was lots of Marsh harriers and three Bitterns were being seen quite regularly, we looked out the window were the visitor centre was and then we saw a beautiful Female Marsh harrier flying across the marsh! Lots of avocets were mobbing the Marsh harrier, while we were watching it I noticed something coming down a stream in front of the visitor centre it was a water vole. We watched the water vole for a while then decided to move on to some other hides.

When we reached one of the other hides, we sat and watched for a while and then we saw a few more marsh harriers come into view, there was four in total, while we were watching them lots of whitethroats, sedge warblers and reed warblers were singing in the reeds but they hardly ever came out, when I was watching a Marsh harrier through my Camera I noticed something fly past it in the back ground, when i got a good view of it, I noticed that it was a Bittern although it didn't stay long it was great to watch.

When we got to another hide there was loads of Avocets on an island in the middle of the lake along with a few Pochards and Cormorants also on one island there were lots of nesting black headed gulls. After a while I noticed something flying over the reed beds, it was another Bittern, this one stayed a bit longer so we could have a better view of it. While we were watching the Avocets we noticed that suddenly all the black headed gulls started to scatter and then we saw a Male Marsh Harrier come in and grab one of the black headed gull chicks, it took it round the back of the island and started eating it and then we saw another Marsh harrier coming in but this time it was a Female and this one just kept flying across the reeds at the back of the island. When the Male had finished it took off and flew away with the rest of its prey but the Female started to try get the chick of the Male and then the Male eventually dropped it and then flew away. It was amazing to watch.
We went to the hide were quite a few Spotted redshanks were been seen, on the lake there was once again tons of Avocets and also a few redshanks too and then we noticed a few waders right at the back of the lake, I looked through my Camera to see what they were and they were eight Spotted redshanks!
After that we decided to have one last quick look in the visitor centre for the water voles, after about 5mins we saw one of the young water voles swim past and then shortly after we saw the parent coming down the stream!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

RSPB Fairburn ings and RSPB St Aidans

When we arrived at Fairburn we walked down the path to the feeders on the feeders, when we got there we saw a stunning male Great spotted woodpecker eating the peanuts of the feeder, after a while he flew off then along came a red legged partridge to feed on the ground of the feeders. Also as we were watching the partridge a robin fledgling came to feed.

We started to walk down to the kingfisher hide on the way we saw 2 Jays up in the trees, we watched them fly round the trees for a while. Anyway when we got to the kingfisher hide we stood and watched for around 20mins but we didn't see anything.

We walked down to another hide which was near a lake, on the way we decided to stop and watch some coots build a nest, there were 2 adults building it and a Juvenile coot was helping them, it was great to watch, when we got to the hide on the lake there was Canada geese with chicks and I watched this beautiful little grebe swim around the lake also on the feeders just outside the hide there was another red legged partridge and a Grey squirrel.

After that we decided to go to RSPB St Aidans to try see the black necked grebes, when we arrived we walked down to the spot were they were sighted on the way we saw 5 kestrels, reed buntings, sedge warblers, skylarks, great crested grebes and meadow pipits, when we got there we looked around for a while and then we spotted 2 of them with a chick! i couldn't believe it, they were amazing to watch, they were feeding there young quite a lot of times which was great and the chick looked very healthy.  

On the way home we aslo saw 2 hobbys, a red kite and 2 more kestrels.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Stavely nature reserve, 18th June 2013

On the 18th of june 2013 I took a visit to Stavely nature reserve.

When we reached stavely we got out of the car and started walking through the wood to get to the lake, as we were walking through the wood a pair of blackbirds starting going mental and we knew tawnys were nesting in the wood so we thought thats what might have been setting them off so for about 20mins we searched for the tawnys but no sign. Anyway as we were looking for them i saw a blue tit fly past me and i saw it go in a hole in a tree so i walked over to see if it had a nest, we sat and watched for a while and the mother came back quite a few times to the nest with food so we then thought she must have chicks and just after she had left the nest we saw one of the chicks poke his head out of the hole! the chick looked quite big and looked about ready to fledge.

As we got to the lake reed buntings, reed warblers and sedge warblers were showing very nicely at the top of the reedbeds and swifts were gliding through the skys. We knew that at Stavely very recently that there was quite a few Otter sightings so we sat down on a bench for a while looking across the lake for them but they didnt turn up, as we were walking around the reserve we knew that Barn owls are nesting on the other side of the lake, so we looked for them and then we saw one leave the nest box and it flew over our heads! We watched the owl come back to the nest box severel times carrying voles and one time we even saw him catch one. Everytime the barn owl flew over the lake to get back to the nest box it was occasionally getting mobed by common terns, in the end it seemed he went all around the lake to get to his nest box so he could avoid getting mobed by the terns.

We decided to go further round the reserve to get to this other part of the lake, on the way there we found an active badger set and once again we saw the Barn owl fly over our heads, when we got down to the other lake we saw quite a lot of Pied wagtail fledgelings with there parents feeding them and on this lake there was a few nesting common terns on rafts in the water and we saw about 3 chiffchaffs around the area also we heard and saw a beautiful Song thrush.

When we were walking through the wood to get back to the car we once again heard the blackbirds going mental so once again i looked in the trees for the tawny and then i spotted a little fluffy tawny owl chick in the tree just above were the blackbirds were, it was great watching him.