A week in Silverdale

Headed back to our favourite rspb reserve this morning and staying in a cottage around the corner for a whole week !      It was a beautiful sunny morning but we didn't start out too early and arrived after 10am for a quick recce round.     It was fairly quiet on the main reserve although we did see a distant Great Egret as well as 4 of their smaller cousins and I believe there are two or three Cattle Egret so we'll catch up with those hopefully another day.      After no reports for a week of the Great Grey Shrike, it was spotted by two rspb senior staff this lunchtime so it was a very pleasing report - not sure we'll see it ourselves during our week here but we were glad to hear it was staying around the area.         Bitterns have also been reported and the same staff saw one today at Causeway hide and then same bird in flight.      We haven't ventured off the main reserve on our quick trek round but lots of time to do that duirng the next 6/7 days.

Robins are a plenty as you would expect on this reserve and plenty willing to hop on to your hand or help themselves to live mealworms from the tub !      One robin was trying to break the four minute robin record today and eventually I had to politely ask it to head back to the twig before my frozen fingers dropped off   lol        A water rail was too close for photos as I had the 300mm x 2 on the camera but managed record shot of it.      Not many pics today as it was a day for strolling round and looking through binoculars.      

I won't keep Paul (MC) waiting for his robin fix so will start with those ....

We saw one Great Egret and four Little Egrets

GE was a bit distant for pics - seen from Lilians Hide

and its smaller cousin taking off

was a little breezy  !  

We saw a pair of Bearded Tits on the Grisedale grit tray but no decent pics

Lots of ducks around including these attractive Teal   - Drake

female Teal

and rhe record shots of the Rail


Regards, Hazel 

"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Good start, Hazel. Fancy a Water Rail being too close. I should be so lucky.

    Hope you catch up with the Great Grey Shrike.



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  • In reply to TeeJay:

    Thanks Tony,  to be honest I could have had a better chance to get the rail as I put live mealies out for it on the path to lure it out of the ditch/grass but ..... you know what happens when someone comes by........  sees a long lens/camera, starts asking questions about it,  length, weight, f-stop.and camera body......  a very nice chap to be fair ...... but when he'd finished asking about it and telling me about the bridge camera gear he uses I turned round and the rail had gone  LOL      Did I say that Leighton Moss is an incredibly friendly reserve and I've met tons of lovely peope ...........but sometimes it's hard to get round and do your own thing   ha ha !      I bumped into 7 people I knew from previous visits (not including all the staff ! )  The way to get round is to keep your head down, stride out with purpose and wear a wig, moustache and biggles hat    LOL    Seriously, I never mind really, on the whole, people are so very nice and we all love birds so its lovely to stop and chat on the pathways.      I plan to go out early at first light tomorrow (which means about 8am - so not "Alan o'clock  lol )    I'll head down to Lower Hide area for a look round.      Cottage is lovely and warm and such a convient base.    Will see what tomorrow brings.     Weather forecast says around 6 or 7 degrees tomorrow so heatwave eh ?    lol


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    A week around the Silverdale area is usually pretty good Hazel and during the week you may get the feeling you have the places to yourselves, enjoy it and keep sending reports in for the rest of us to enjoy. I doubt I will get there this year now as I seem to have picked up another chest infection so banned from risking going out in this raw weather until that clears up.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    Thanks Pete,    sorry to hear you've got another chest infection and hope with rest you will be fighting fit again very soon;   as you say, this cold winter air is not good if you have a bad chest so you keep warm and I'll add updates if and when I see anything.    


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Smashing pics Hazy, lovely Robins, bet they were glad to see you with the live mealworms available.   Lovely to see the Egrets, hope you get to see the Cattle Egret too and the Great Grey Shrike, they are quite rare I suppose, as the Rail used to be!!:-)

    Lot to learn

  • Hazel, Good to hear that you are back up at Leighton Moss. Lovely photos as always, including the Rail who still has not read the manual on how to be a shy and self-respecting Rail!  LM have clearly been negligent on the bird-training front.  I look forward to more pics as the week goes on.  As for avoiding chatting endlessly with people, perhaps you could gesture that you cannot speak because you have laryngitis--lol!  Of course that risks the other person talking your ear off for hours without you being able to do anything except for nodding!

    Kind regards, 


  • Pete, An elderly relative of mine who lived to 92 always swore by eating raw garlic.  Not the friendliest solution but she insisted it kept her healthy.  Best wishes for getting rid of this latest infection.

    Kind regards, 


  • Hope you are having a nice time Hazel and the weather is better there than we are having.

    Lovely shots especially the Rail

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  • As everyone has said, lovely pics Hazy. I hope you get to see the Great Grey Shrike, we had our own one a few years ago, we found it only a few miles away & it stayed all winter. Sadly it never came back, or if it did we never saw it. I hope it warms up a bit too 6 or 7 is a bit chilly for standing around in hides, you'll have to keep moving.

    Pete, I hope you're soon on the mend & keep warm in the meantime. We find a Rum toddy, Cognac or Pineau at bedtime works wonders.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • Very nice pictures Hazel, hope you do see a Bittern they are or it has been out a lot the last week so you might have some luck this week, Causeway hide on the right side I would keep and eye on.
    And like you some of the Robins are staying longer on your hands I had three that stayed there for quite a while and had their fill of mealworms.
    Hope the rest of the week stays fine and If I am not wrong Happy Birthday for this week I am not sure of the day so will say all the best and have a drink on me :)



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