Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Spring is in the air!


Quite a few people out birding on the reserve side of Pitsford Reservoir this morning and between us the scarcer birds amounted to the Red-necked Grebe still (just south of the causeway), a White-fronted Goose with Canadas and Greylags mostly in the Scaldwell Bay, two Great White Egrets, two Green Sandpipers, a returning Oystercatcher, three Pintail, a Raven and two Marsh Tits. 

Checking the large nest boxes today to make them ready for the forthcoming breeding season (evicting Grey Squirrels and their dreys mostly), we came across two roosting Tawny Owls which we took as a good sign for possible future usage. 

In addition there were several singing Skylarks over the adjoining fields and the Song Thrushes were in song all around the reserve. Another impressive aspect was appreciating all the labours of volunteers and contractors alike in the amount of management work completed on the reserve this winter. Imposing and cluttered crack willows around the hides have been cut back or felled and everywhere there is evidence of thinning, the creation of glades and 'scalloping' and reigning back scrub threatening to dominate the meadows and ponds. A phragmites reed bed has been planted, paths to the hides have been cleared, secondary sycamore growth has been treated and visual clear ways to provide scanning of the water margins has been provided.

Two Ravens were vocal and active at Hanging Houghton today.


Neil M

Digi-shots of the White-fronted
Goose at Pitsford Reservoir
courtesy of Jacob Spinks. The plumage
suggests a second winter bird.

White-fronted Goose with
Greylags courtesy of Robin Gossage.

Drake Pintail at Pitsford Reservoir
courtesy of Robin Gossage.

Red-necked Grebe at Pitsford
Reservoir courtesy of Robin Gossage.

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