With slightly better forecast yesterday we decided to blow away the indoor cobwebs and head to a new area for us to explore by choosing Carsington Water, a reservoir and habitat run by Severn Trent Water in conjunction with RSPB. Quite an impressive set up with Visitor Centre, and courtyard and a good range of habitat attracting all manner of birds/wildlife. With daylight hours being short at the moment we didn't have time to walk the 8 mile perimeter of the reservoir but we'll definitely return during late spring or summer months. Anyway, here are a few photos, mainly the smaller woodland type birds although there were birds like GC Grebe, Pochard, Wigeon, Swans, Coots, Moorhen and huge flock of Lapwing out on the banks and water including a very distant Great Northern Diver which was too distant to see in detail.
Here is an impression of the VC area and water (taken on iPhone)
don't let the blue sky fool you as it was pretty grey most of the time !
Nice wooden work of art near the VC which looks like a Wizard (Merlin ?) and a sleeping dragon
There were lots of house sparrows and Long Tailed Tits around the area outside the VC
and I couldn't work out why this female sparrow was sledding on the ground; no puddles so I assume she was using the rough surface in the courtyard to have a body scrub lol
Ouch ! looks painful although she was having a ball !!
all done and looking pretty as a picture …..
Goldcrest are tricky little blighters to get on camera and struggling with my eyes I had to cheat to get this shot and thank goodness for auto-focus
with their quirky yellow or orange Mohican looks and large round eyes and yellow wellies they have to be one of my most favourite birds
There was no food on the feeding table further along near woodland so I filled the table with a handful of seed/suet/peanuts and within seconds the birds came down to fill their boots !
One bird was a tit member which I assumed was a Marsh Tit (think there was a hint of the whitish spot on base of upper mandible) but I will leave it to the experts.
Blue variety (there were Great as well although a twig obscured the only photo I got of it)
the always attractive Dunnock
One of three or four Nuthatches who took a fancy to the whole peanuts
the ubiquitous robin
stunning bullfinches, one of three we saw
and there's always one of these around lol
It wasn't me Mrs that stole a peanut ……….. says her with a hint of peanut shuck around her mouth !
In the pasture bordering the reservoir there were several Redwing although pretty distant for photos - these are hard cropped
and a robin watching on, ensuring the Redwing didn't take all the worms !!
There are three or four hides ( I think one was flooded so closed ) this is the largest at Sheepwash area offering good views over the reservoir
Flocks of Lapwing but once again too distant for photos
and going more gloomy you will have to take my word for it that this is a G.N.Diver lol long long way away on the water but still nice to see it through bins,
and Mr Spudgie says thank you for viewing the photos and hope to see more visitors soon !!
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
In reply to Gardenbirder:
Many thanks Tony, Ann and James, was such an interesting place and can't wait to have longer daylight hours to explore a little further round next time.
Gardenbirder said:How did you get the Goldcrests to stay still long enough to have their portrait taken?
Played the bird sound as they are a very inquisitive species and guaranteed to come closer - however, I hasten to say I would never use this app in breeding season for obvious reasons and I tend to only use it for Goldcrests and limit the sound to two times only as I do not want to distress the bird when it searches to see where the sound comes from. I NEVER recommend the use of tape luring in general as not everyone is as considerate to the birds. I did check BTO guidelines and follow their advice.
In reply to Nigel O:
Nigel O said:That's a big, posh-looking hide, but I assume they are big solid windows. I much prefer hides with windows you can open otherwise I just don't feel as connected with what's going on outside, even when they are spotlessly clean (which is usually never).
That was my thoughts exactly Nige with solid windows and no openings in this large hide (except very high ones no good for scopes or cameras) although I didn't remain in their long enough to check for sure as I opted to stand just outside it which had a screen area. Carsington Water is certainly worth another visit or two with a lovely circular walk around the reservoir which has reedbeds and various habitat to encourage wildlife but maybe once we change our clocks in springtime.
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A fabulous set of photos Hazy, I've often wondered what Carsington looked like, having driven close by there many times over the years. It looks almost like a larger version of Draycote Water, which is near to Rugby, though I haven't been there for a good few years.
You did well with the goldcrest, on my last visit to Conwy, there was one there, that was too close to the branches, causing the autofocus to lock on to them, not the GC....
Mr Bully looks in fine fettle, and always seem to provide a colourful picture, and those cheeky greys get everywhere, but you have to admire their cheeky character.
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