Sunday, 26 October 2008

Too early for Ladywalk & Whitacre

After the excitement of seeing the bittern yesterday, I thought I’d try somewhere a bit different today. I headed for Ladywalk, which also has bitterns over winter (though none yet, as far as I know), but has got a decent feeder hide set up, which I aimed for upon arrival.

Walking down the main path, I saw a few redwings and fieldfares (I think, as I was looking into the sun, somewhat), but they were gone before I could raise the lens.

From the hide, alas there wasn’t much around, well, nothing special anyway. Marsh (or Willow; I ought to work these out soon) tits, blue, great, long-tailed tits, gold and greenfinches, a few wrens, chaffinches, a robin, some reed buntings and the occasional visit from a great spotted woodpecker.

However, with a shriek of alarm from the birds, the star of the show arrived, and for once, perched for a moment for me to get some shots. A male sparrowhawk, with gorgeous bright yellow eyes. I managed a couple of shots before he took flight, swooping low over the ground, and then off across to the lake behind, to scare the wildfowl.

I waited for about an hour in the hope that he’d return, and he did... but this time only for a second, whizzing through the area, causing a disturbance, and off again into the woods. Time to leave, I thought.

Being up that way, I drove over to Whitacre Heath, but after donning the wellies and plodding out to the woodland hide, I discovered that it was a) too dark for photography (still too many leaves on the trees) and b) the feeders weren’t stocked up.

After chatting to the only other person on the reserve, I shall try to remember to bring some seed next time, as it’s down to the deep pockets of the members to keep the feeders filled, because the Trust doesn’t assist. Bit of a poor show from them, if you ask me!

I'll leave it a while before heading back to either - they're definitely places to head to in the winter... no mozzies either!


Kay said...

Very nice Sprawk there Pete.

I've seen Willow Tits on the feeders at Ladywalk, but I believe you do get Marsh Tit there too.

Chris said...

Hi Pete,
First, you have a very nice blog... I loved the shot of this last bird and I loved your explanation and description.. Thanks for sharing your passion....

Pete Walkden said...

Kay - probably is a willow tit - you know me and my ID skills!

Chris - thanks for your comments - appreciated.